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V. 10 



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February, 1905. 



Hon. Greenleaf Clark (died Dec. 7, 1904), - - President. 

Nathaniel P. Langford (President, 1905), - Vice-President. 

J Gen. Henry \V. Guilds, - - - . Second Vice-President. 

Henry P. Upham, - -- -- -- -- - Treasurer. 

^ Warren Upham, ------ Secretary and Librarian. 

^ David L. Kingsbury and Josiah B. Chaney, 

■r^ Assistant Librarians. 



Gen. James H. Baker, Josiah B. Chaney. 


Hon. John D. Ludden. John A. Stees. 

Gen. Henry W. Childs. Gen. James H. Baker. 

The Secretary of the Society is ex-oMcio a member of these Committees. 


This volume, comprising papers and addresses presented be- 
fore this Society during the past five years, is so large that it 
has been found necessary to bind it in two parts, which are con- 
secutively paged. At the beginning of each part, a table of its 
contents is given. 

Part II has an index of the whole volume. It also contains 
an index of the authors and principal subjects in the series o£ 
these Volumes I to X, and a personal index of Volumes I to IX, 
both of which were compiled from the indexes of the several 
volumes. These general indexes Vv'ill be very convenient for 
references to subjects and persons noticed in the entire series. 

The papers published in these Historical Collections relate 
to the history of Minnesota and the Northwest. Several other 
papers of much value, but not dealing with our local history, 
have been presented within the past ten years in the meetings of 
this Society; and it seems desirable to record here the titles of 
these papers, with their dates and authors, as follows : 

Observations in Japan, Corea, and China, during the Corean War in 
1894, read December 14, i8g6, by Lieut John H. Beacom. 

Causes, Objects, and Results of the Wars of the North American Col- 
onies, read February 8, 1897, by Col. Philip Reade. 

The Cartagena Expedition of Admiral Vernon in 1741, read May 10, 

1897, by Capt. Charles W. Hall. 

An Excursion in 1857 from Milwaukee to the Red River of the North, 
read October 11, 1897, from manuscripts of the late Dr. Increase A. Lap- 

The Hessian Auxiliaries in the North American War of Independence, 
a translation from the German of Colonel von Werthern, read March 14, 

1898, by Captain William Gerlach. 

Three Stages in the History of our Country,— Dependence, Independ- 
ence, Interdependence, read April 18, 1898, by Dr. James K. Hosmer; pub- 
lished in the Atlantic Monthly, July, 1898. 

Exhibits from Minnesota in the Crystal Palace Exposition at New 
York in 1853, read October 10, 1898, by Gen. William G. Le Due. 



The Southern Boundary of the Grant to the Hudson Bay Company, 
1670-1811, read November 14, 1898, after the death of the author, Alfred J. 

Two Years in Alaska, read May i.:^, 1900, by Lieut. Edwin Bell. 

How Napoleon sold Louisiana, and fought a Great Battle about it 
which History has neglected, read September 10, 1900, by Dr. James K. 
Hosmer; published in 1902, as Chapter V, etc., of The History of the 
Louisiana Purchase. 

Sites of Old Roman Camps in Germany recently identified, and the 
Battleground where Herman.n defeated Varus in the Year 9 A. D., read 
November 12, 19CO. by Hartwig Deppe. 

History of the Mining Development of North Alaska and the Starva- 
tion Year i&57-g8. read December 10, 1900, by Colonel P. Henry Ray. 

The United States a Nation from the Declaration of Independence, 
read September 8, 1902, by Hon. James O. Pierce. 

The address by Prof. David L. Kiehle, here forming pages 
353-398, has been expanded and published under the title, ''Edu- 
cation in ^linnesota,'' as a book in two parts, the first historical, 
and the second treating of the school laws and sources of school 
support in this State. 

Since the printing of the bibliography of publications relat- 
ing to Groseilliers and Radisson, in pages 568-594, another work 
has appeared which should be added to the Hst. This is entitled 
''Pathfinders of the West," by Agnes C. Laut, published by the 
Macmillan Company, November, 1904. Chapters III and IV, 
forming pages 68-131, narrate the Third and Fourth Voyages, 
in which these explorers reached the area of Minnesota. The 
third voyage or expedition is assigned to the years 1658-1660, 
and the fourth to 1661-1663. In each of these expeditions, Gro- 
seilliers and Radisson are thought by this author, as in her article 
previously published in Leslie's Alagazine, to have traveled far 
beyond ^Minnesota, going through the Dakotas, and perhaps into 
Montana, during the first expedition, and in the second going 
past the region of the Lake of the Woods to the Sioux in North 

In many other respects this work differs widely from the 
views stated in Part II of the present volume. With the many 
and discordant opinions cited in the Bibliography, it indicates the 
need of careful studies of Radisson's own writings, by which 
probably historians will some day come to a better agreement 
concerning the routes and dates of these explorations. 


History of Wheat Raising in the Red River Valley, by Hon. 

George N. Lamphere 1-33 

Description of the Red River valley I 

Wheat raising in the Selkirk settlement ' 2 

Early flouring mills ; grasshoppers 7 

First mail route 9 

Steamboats on the Red river 10 

First wheat raising near the Pembina river ii 

Pioneer farmers near Moorhead and Fargo 12 

Early wheat raising near Fort Abercrombie 19 

Development by railroads 20 

The Dalrymple farm 21 

The Grandin farm 22 

Increase of population and wealth 23 

Causes of occasional failures 23 

Better and more diversified cultivation needed 25 

Railroad freight rates and legislation 25 

Old and new methods of wheat farming 28 

Wheat production and its value, i8g8 29 

Letter from Hon. Charles Cavalier 2>^ 

Greatness of the resources of Minnesota 32 

History of Flour ^Manufacture in Minnesota, by Col. George 

D. Rogers 35-55 

Progress in methods of milling 35 

Ihe government mill of 1823 , 37 

The first custom mills 3^ 

Earliest merchant mill and export 39 

The first mill corporation 39 

Milling at Northfield 40 

The fame of Archibald 4^ 

The Gardner mill at Hastings 4^ 

"Honest John" Kearcher 4^ 

Rise and fall of Minnetonka Mills 43 

iStatistics of 1859-60 43 

'Milling in 1870 44 

Birth of the "new process" 45 

Effect upon wheat and flour production 47 




The La Croixs of Faribault 47 

Gradual reduction by rolls 49 

The mill explosion of 1878 51 

Minnesota flour export trade ! 52 

iMinne?ota mills in 1900 54 

The Early Government Land Surveys in Minnesota West of 

THE Mississippi River, by Hon. Thomas Simpson 57-67 

System of government surveys 57 

Convergency of meridians 59 

Guide meridians and standard parallels 60 

Surveys in southeastern Minnesota, 1853-55 61 

Castle rock and the Zumbro river 64 

The Winnebago Indians 65 

Personal reminiscences 65 

Sketches of the History of Hutchinson, by Hon. William W. 

Pendergast 69-89 

Founding of the town by the Hutchinson singers 69 

Adoption of a corxstitution 73 

Pioneer reminiscences 74 

The Fourth of July, 1856..: 77 

Cost of living in the winter of 1857-58 77 

First town meeting 77 

Steamboat navigation. — 78 

Scarcity of food 78 

Mail carriers 78 

The Sioux outbreak 78 

The attack at Hutchinson 80 

Retreat and council of the Sioux 84 

Murder of German settlers west of Hutchinson 85 

Service of the Hutchinson guards 87 

The kilhng of Little Crow 88 

Early Steamboating ox the Minnesota and Red Rivers, by Cap- 
tain Edwin Bell 91-100 

St. Pau.l and its vicinity in 1850 , 91 

Steamboating on the Minnesota river 92 

Recollections of the Red River of the North •. . . . 93 

Scenes at Fort Garry in 1859 97 

The return by ox tr.iin to Sl Paul 98 

Incidents of the Sioux outbreak ; 99 

The Treaty of Tkave?^?e pf.s Sioux 1851, under Governor 
Alexander Ramsey, with Notes of the Former Treaty there, 
IN 1841, under Governor James D. Doty, of Wisconsin, by 

Thomas Hughes 101-129 



The treaty of Governor Doty, 1841 loi 

Motives leading to the treaty of 1851 102 

Treliminaries of the treaty 103 

Goodhue, the journalist, and Mayer, the artist 107 

ihe treaty council 108 

Signing the treaty no 

The traders' paper iii 

Speeches and presents ill 

White men present in 

Duplicate treaty at Mendota 112 

The lands ceded 112 

Payments and reservations for the Sioux 112 - 

Amendment of the treaty by the senate , 113 

Disbursement of the first pa>Tnent 114 

The claims of the traders 114 

Investigation by order of the senate 115 

Later negotiations concerning the reservations 115 

The Sioux massacre, 1862 116 

Results of the treaty 116 

The purposes of the earlier treaty in 1841 119 

Newspaper comments on the Doty treaty 119 

Governor Doty and Le Sueur's copper mine on the Blue Earth 

river , 126 

Place of the treaty 126 

History of Steamboating on the Minnesota River, by Thomas 

Hughes ; 131-163 

Earliest navigation by white men. 132 

Earliest steamboats I33 

Excursions in the year 1850 ; ' ^ 134 

The treaty of 1851, and ensuing immigration 137 

Steamboat traffic, 1852 to 1871 138 

The last steamboats, 1872 to 1897 I57 

Lists of steamboats, 1850 to 1897 158 

MrssiGNARv Work at Red Wing, 1849 to 1852, by Rev. Joseph W. 

Hancock 165-178 

Farewell to the old home, and the journey west 166 

Arrival at Red Wing 166 

Earlier missionaries to the Dakotas 167 

School for the Indian children 168 

Removal to Long Prairie 169 

A gjovemtnent Indian school ^70 

The voyage of return to Red Wing I7i 

Life at the Indian village ^73 

Evil effects of whiskey ^74 



The Dakota dictionary ^^^^ 

The treaty of 1851, from the Indian standpoint 177 

History of Fort Ripley, 1849 to 1859, based on the Diary of 
Rev. Solon W. Manney, D. D., Chaplain of this Post from 

1851 TO 1S59. by Rev. George C Tanner 179-202 

Journey from Milwaukee to Fort Ripley 179 

Early life of Dr. Manney 180 

Location and building- of Fort Ripley l8i 

The vicinity northward to Gull lake 183 

Early life of Enmegahbowh 184 

Commandants of Fort Ripley 185 

The chaplain and his diary 185 

Weather records 187 

The mission of St. Columba, at Gull lake 188 

Life at the fort 190 

Journeys to Leech and Otter Tail lakes 190 

Attempted journey to Lake Superior 192 

Temporary withdrawal of the garrison 193 

Ensuing troubles with the Ojibways 193 

The reserv^e and fort offered for sale 196 

The diocese of Minnesota organized 196 

Founding of schools at Faribault 196 

Disturbances at Crow Wing and Little Falls 197 

Founding of Fort Abercrombie 199 

The last year of the chaplaincy 199 

Dr. Manney's work in the Faribault schools . . 200 

Ordination of Enmegahbowh in Faribault 201 

Early Episcopal Churches, and Missions in Minnesota, by 

Rev. George C. Tanner 203-231 

The first Sunday school 203 

Rev. E. G. Gear, chaplain of Fort Snelling 203 

Rev. E. a. Greenleaf in the St. Croix valley 208 

Earliest Episcopal services in St. Paul 210 

Founding the Associate Mission 210 

The later work of Father Gear 212 

St. Paul selected as a center for mission work 214 

The first Episcopal church at St. Anthony 221 

Beginning of services for Scandinavians 222 

Building of Ascension Church, in Stillwater 223 

Visitation by Bishop Kemper in St. Paul 223 

Rev. James Lloyd Breck in the Ojibway mission 225 

Rev. Timothy Wilcoxson, rector of Christ Church 225 

Subsequent itinerant work 228 



I ,:t Chapel of St. Paul, and the Beginnings of the Catholic 

ru?;8rH IS Minnesota, by Rev. Ambrose McNulty 233-245 

Visit by Bishop Loras in 1839 234 

r,-i'tier. the first priest ." 235 

The first chapel 237 

Father Ravoux 240 

Pictures of the chapel 241 

Bisliop Cretin 242 

Liter cathedrals 242 

The first sisters 243 

The first hospital 244 

Relics of the old chapel 244 

N'in'nesota Journalism in the Territorial Period, by Daniel S, 

H. Johnston 247-351 

Fsk-^t Paper, 1849 to 1854 j 247-276 

The first newspaper and its editor 247 

1 he Minnesota Chronicle 253 

The Minnesota Register 253 

N'athaniel M'Lean 254 

John P. Owens 255 

The Dakota Friend 256 

T,ie Minnesota Democrat 256 

The Pioneer and Democrat 257 

Colonel D. A. Robertson 258 

David Olmsted 258 

The Watab Reveille 259 

The St. Anthony Express 260 

lion, Isaac Atwater 261 

George D. Bowman 261 

D. S. B. Johnston 262 

I he Minnesotian 263 

Dr. Thomas Foster 264 

J. Fletcher Williams 265 

The Northwestern Democrat 266 

\V. Augustus Hotchkiss 266 

Joseph R. Brown 267 

Earle S. Goodrich 268 

Jrimes Mills 268 

Louis E. Fisher 269 

riic lK)om of 1854 269 

The Minnesota Times 270 

Thomas M. Newson 270 

T he Minnesota Republican 271 

Rev. Charles G. Ames 271 


• Page. 

The St. Paul Financial and Real Estate Advertiser 272 

Joseph A. Wheelock 272 

The St. Croix Union . .y 272 

The Winona Argus 273 

William Ashley Jones 273 

Captain Sam Whiting 274 

Summary, 1849 to 1854 " 274 

Second Paper, 1855 276-290 

St. Peter's Courier 277 

John C. Stoever 278 

Andrew J. Morgan 278 

Sauk Rapids Frontierman 279 

Jeremiah Russell 279 

Henry P. Pratt 279 

Red Wing Sentinel, No. i 280 

William Colvill, Jr 280 

Southern Minnesota Herald 281 

Charles Brown 282 

The Winona Weekly E.xpress 283 

The St. Paul Free Press 283 

A. C. Smith 284 

Shakopee Independent 284 

Martin Phillips 285 

The Winona Republican 285 

Daniel Sinclair , 286 

Minnesota Deutsche Zeitung 286 

Albert W^olff 289 

Immigration 269 

Third Paper, 1856 290-309 

The Fillmore County Pioneer 291 

Charles J. Henniss 291 

The Henderson Democrat 292 

H. H. Young 292 

A Territorial roll of honor 293 

Dakota Weekly Journal 294 

James C. Dow 295 

Martin Williams 295 

The Minnesota Gazette 295 

A pioneer poll list 296 

W'abasha Journal, No. i 297 

The Preston Journal 297 

Owatonna Watchman and Register 298 

Cannon Falls Gazette 298 

Stillwater Messenger, No. I 299 

Andrew J. Van Vorhes 300 




Republican. Advocate 301 

Chatfield Democrat, No. i 301 

The Rice County Herald 302 

The Chatfield Republican 302 

Hon. Henry W. Holley 303 

Orville Brown 303 

The Northern Herald 304 

Parker H. French 305 

An independent editor 305 

The Faribault Herald 306 

R. A. Mott 306 

The Monticello Journal 307 

The Oronoco Courier 307 

The Carimona Telegraph 308 

Summary, 1856 308 

Fourth Paper^ January ist to August 25TH, 1857 309-329 

Cured of townsite fever 309 

Lake City Tribune 311 

The Minnesota Advertiser 312 

George F. Brott , 312 

Hyrorum Rapids 313 

The Olmsted County Journal 313 

The Waumadee Herald 314 

The Western Transcript 315 

The Monticello Times 315 

The Minnesota Free Press 317 

The Minnesota Thalboten 317 

Minnesota National Demokrat 318 

The Mankato Independent 318 

The Emigrant Aid Journal 319 

The Hokah Chief 3I9 

The Southern Minnesota Star 320 

The Mantorville Express 321 

John Earle Bancroft 322 

The Wasioja Gazette 322 

Squire L. Pierce 323 

Red Wing Sentinel, No. 2 323 

William W. Phelps 325 

The Rochester Democrat 325 

The Cannon Falls Bulletin 325 

The Hastings Independent 32^ 

Columbus Stebbins 326 

The Glencoe Register, No. i 327 

Colonel John H. Stevens 328 

Summary to August 25th, 1S57 329 




Fifth Paper, August 25TH, 1857, to May iith, 1858 329-351 

The Financial crash of 1857 331 

The Red Wing Republican 331 

Lucius F. Hubbard 332 

The Wabasha County Herald 333 

The Falls Evening News 336 

William A. Croffut 337 

Chatfield Democrat, No. 2 339 

The Traverse Des Sioux Reporter 340 

James J. Green 340 

The Bancroft Pioneer 341 

David Blakeley 341 

The Belle Plaine Inquirer 342 

Folkets Rost (People's Voice) 343 

The New Ulm Pioneer 343 

The St. Cloud Visitor 344 

Jane Grey Swisshelm 346 

The Winona Times 347 

The Minneapolis Gazette 347 

The Rochester Free Press 348 

The Shakopee Reporter 349 

The Northfield Journal 349 

J'he Hastings Daily Ledger 349 

The final result 349 

History of Education in Minnesota, by Prof. David L. Kiehle, 

LL. D 353-398 

The Territorial period 354 

Denominational schools 355 

The public school system 356 

I'he administration of school funds 358 

State aid to education 359 

Special rural and semi-graded schools 360 

Libraries 361 

State supervision of education 361 

County supervision 364 

Improvement of teachers 365 

Normal schools 366 

Qualifications of teachers 367 

Higher education 368 

Financial history of the state university 369 

Jo!in S. Pills'nury. regent of the university 372 

The beginnings of university life 372 

The presidency of William W. Folvvell 373 

The presidency of Cyrus Northrop 374 

The support of the university 375 


Buildings of the university ^76 

Industrial education ^76 

The agricultural college 276 

The new experimental farm : 279 

The school of agriculture 380 

Professional departments 381 

Department of pedagogy 381 

Secondary education 383 

State high schools 384 

Graded schools 386 

Semi-graded and rural schools 386 

Schools for defectives 387 

School for dependent and neglected children 390 

Conclusion : 391 

iables and statistics ' 393 

Bibliography 398 

History of the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad. 1864-1881, by 

Gkn. Judson W. Bishop 399-415 

Minnesota Valley railroad company 399 

St. Paul and Sioux City railroad company 401 

Importance of the Minnesota river 401 

Other railroads and land grants 402 

'i'he route from Mankato to Sioux City 403 

The grasshopper scourge 407 

Extension of this railway system 411 

Organization of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha 

railway company 413 

Retrospect 4^4 

Sketches of the Early History of Real Estate in St. Paul, 

by Henry S. Fairchild 417-443 

Early real estate sales 4^^ 

Increase in values 420 

First legal titles in St. Paul proper 423 

The grand old pioneers 4^7 

A vision of the future 4^9 

The platting of additions 43' 

Real estate agents 433 

Rivalry between the upper and the lower town 434 

Land disputes settled by unique methods 43^ 

Some of St. Paul's loyal eulogists 438 

The present and past builders of the city 441 

The First Railroad in Minnesota, by Col. William Crooks. .445-448 




Plate I. Portrait of Hon. George N, Lamphere i 

II. Portrait of Hon. Thomas Simpson 57 

III. Portrait of Hon. William W. Pendergast 69 

rV. Portrait of Captain Edwin Bell 91 

V. Portrait of Rev. Joseph W. Hancock 165 

VI. Portrait of Rev. Solon W. Manney 179 

VII. Portrait of Rev. George C. Tanner 203 

VIII. Portrait of Father Galtier, and the Chapel of St. Paul.. 233 

IX. Portrait of Daniel S. B. Johnston 247 

X. Portrait of Prof. David L. Kiehle 353 

XI. Portrait of Gen. Judson W. Bishop 399 

XII. Portrait of Henry S. Fairchild 417 





I have not deemed it entirely relevant to my subject to discuss 
the topography, the geology, or the aboriginal inhabitants of the 
Red River valley. And for another reason than its relevancy, I 
have omitted any discussion thereof because they have hereto- 
fore been treated by the honored secretary of this Society, War- 
ren Upham, in a paper read at its annual meeting in 1895 (Min- 
nesota Historical Society Collections, vol. VHI, pages 11-24). 

The Red River valley, as this term is commonly used, is a 
broad and flat prairie plain reaching ten to twenty miles on each 
side, of the Red river of the North, having thus about half of its 
expanse in Minnesota and the other half , in North Dakota. It 
extends three hundred miles from south to north, continuing in 
Manitoba to lake Winnipeg. Inclosed by the higher land on each 
side, and pent in at the north by the barrier of the receding ice- 
sheet at the end of the Glacial period, this valley plain was cov- 
ered in that geologic epoch by a vast lake, which, with the com- 
plete disappearance of the ice-sheet, was drained away to Hudson 
bay. To this glacial lake :Mr. Upham has given the name of Lake 
Agassiz; and its survey and description are the subject of a vol- 
ume prepared by him and published by the United States Geolog- 
ical Survey. The closing chapters of that work should be con- 
sulted by any who seek information concerning the general ag- 

-An Address at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society. 
January 8, 1900. 



ricultural capabilities of this, very fertile district, or concerning 
its water supply and its hundreds of artesian wells. 


The beginning of wheat raising in the Red River valley was 
in the Selkirk settlement north of the boundary line, near Fort 
Garry, now Winnipeg. 

In 1811 the Earl of Selkirk purchased from the Hudson Bay 
Company a vast tract of land in ?^Ianitoba, including the land 
afterward occupied by the Selkirk settlement. The purchase was 
subject to the Indian claim to its title. About the time 
of this purchase there was a compulsory exodus of the inhabi- 
tants of the county of Sutherland, Scotland, from the estates of 
the Duchess of Sutherland ; and Lord Selkirk took a large number 
of these evicted persons under his protection and forwarded them 
to settle on the land he had purchased on the Red river. They ar- 
rived on the bay in the fall of the year, and spent the winter at 
Churchill, on the western shore of the bay. In the following 
spring they advanced inland, crossed lake Winnipeg, and ascend- 
ed the Red river of the North. They intended to make their 
home at the confluence of the Assiniboine and Red rivers, but on 
arriving there found that the X. Y. and the Northv/est Com- 
panies of Canada, which were opponents of the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany, regarded them as invaders and also as proteges of the latter. 
The Indians also objected to the cukivation of their hunting 
grounds, and were instigated to hostile proceedings against the 
new comers by the representations of the Canadian companies. 

The year 1812 passed without any satisfactory progress being 
made toward settlement, and the immigrants spent the following 
winter in great distress at Pembina, whither they were driven by 
the Indians. By some means, however, they were able to mollify 
their opponents, and were permitted to return in the spring. They 
built log houses and began the cultivation of the land on the bank 
of the river. Within a year they were attacked by the partisans 
of the com.panies, who burnt their houses and killed some of their 
number. Afterward, being reinforced by a company of additional 
immigrants from Scotland, the settlers returned to the places from 
which they had been driven, and recommenced their labors. The 



hostility of the companies toward these poor immigrants was 
continued, their property was destroyed and men were captured 
and killed. At length, on June 19, 1816, the adherents of the two 
parties met at Seven Oaks, in the center of the settlement, under 
such circumstances that a small battle occurred, in which about 
twenty men, among whom was Governor Semple, were killed. 

In 1817 Lork Selkirk came over and visited the settlement. 
Besides having a desire to see how the settlers were prospering, 
he desired to negotiate for the extinguishment of the Indian title 
to the land he had purchased. After much difficulty he negoti- 
ated a treaty with the Chippewas and Crees, which treaty was 
signed July 18, 1817. The consideration was the annual payment 
of 200 pounds of tobacco, half to the Chippewas and half to the 
Crees. The conditions in the territery at this time were so 
wretched that the Canadian government interfered and appomted 
a commissioner to make investigation, who recommended an am- 
icable settlement and a union of interests by the companies, which 
had been reduced to the verge of bankruptcy. It was a long time, 
however, before action was taken. Lord Selkirk died in 1821, 
and the Right Hon. Edward Ellice succeeded to his rights. He 
was one of the principal stockholders of the Northwest Company, 
and the Canadian government consulted with him and under its 
auspices he instituted negotiations, which, after many difficulties, 
resulted in a harmonious union between the Hudson Bay Com- 
pany and the Northwest Company, the latter having before com- 
bined with the X. Y. Company. This agreement went into effect 
in 1 82 1, and from this date the opposition to the settlers was with- 

Lord Selkirk, on his arrival in 1817, had provided the set- 
tlers with agricultural implements, seed grain, and other ne- 
cessaries, but the season was so far advanced that little produce 
was grown in 1817 and a famine ensued. The people again re- 
turned to Pembina, where they passed the winter, subsisting as 
best they could on the produce of the chase. The next spring 
they went back to their lands, ploughed and seeded them, and 
entertained high hopes for a bountiful harvest, but were to be 
sorely disappointed, as an army of locusts made its appearance 
and in one night destroyed every vestige of verdure in the fields. 
The locusts le^ft their eggs and in 1819 were more numerous than 



in the preceding year, making agriculture impossible. The set- 
tlers again took refuge at Pembina, and Lord Selkirk imported 
250 bushels of seed grain from the United States at an expense of 
iljOOO, and this, which was sown in the spring of 1820, produced 
a plentiful crop in the autumn of that year. Thus it may be said 
that the first wheat that was ever successfully grown and 
harvested in the Red River valley was in the season of 1820 by the 
Selkirkers. I am principally indebted for the facts as above set 
forth to the book entitled *'Red River," by J. J. Hargrave, printed 
by John Lovell, Montreal. 

The methods of cultivation in the Selkirk settlement were 
rude and primitive. Their plow was English or Scotch, made all 
of iron from the tip of the beam to the end of the handles, and was 
ten or twelve feet long. Its share was shaped like a mason's 
trowel. With this drawn by one horse, enough ground was 
scratched every spring to raise sufficient wheat to feed all the 
blackbirds and pigeons in the Red River valley, and leave a sur- 
plus large enough to meet the wants of the people of the settle- 
ment ; also to sell to the Hudson Bay Company all they needed for 
their outposts in the British Northwest possessions, and still leave 
a surplus sufficient for food and seed for two years, which was 
stored up to be used in case of emergency or failure of crop in 
the coming seasons. The grain was cut with sickles, the bundles 
tied with willow withes and stacked in the barnyard, to be flailed 
out during the winter and cleaned by the winds, men, and women 
and children all giving a helping hand in this work. 

In August, 185 1, Charles Cavalier arrived at Pembina. At 
that date the Red River valley, except the Selkirk settlement, was 
a howling waste throughout its whole length and breadth. Then 
there were only four white men in that section, namely, Norman 
W. Kittson, Joseph Rolette, George Morrison, and Charles Cav- 
alier. There were 1,800 to 2,000 half-breeds, and Mr. Cavalier 
says that, as he was born among the Wyandotte Indians in Ohio 
and brought up near them, the Indians at Pembina were not much 
of a curiosity to him, but the half-breed was a new phase of the 
genus. "To this day," says he, 'T have not fully made up my 
mind whether the cross between the white man and the red man 
was much of an improvement, as with but few exceptions the 
Indian blood predominates." 


In those early days bread was a rarity, and pemmican, dried 
buffalo meat, fish and a few potatoes constituted the food supply. 
Charles Cavalier and Commodore N. W. Kittson planned a trip 
to the Selkirk settlement, where they were told they would find 
bread in abundance. They set out in the same year (1851) and in 
a day and a half's sail down the river in a canoe reached Fort 
Garry and St. Boniface, where they received a hospitable welcome 
from Vereck Marion, Mr. Kittson's father-in-law. They visited 
the Roman Catholic bishops and clergy and found them pleasant 
and agreeable gentlemen. They also visited the Sisters of Charity 
at the hospital, who gave them a warm welcome and showed them 
through the whole establishment. Kittson having returned to 
PVmbina, Mr. Cavalier, in company with Mr. Marion, visited the 
office of the Hudson Bay Company, where they met also Major 
Campbell, who was in command of a company of British troops 
stationed near Fort Garry. With Marion, who was an old set- 
tler and acquainted with every one, Cavalier went on a tour of 
inspection and gathered all the information possible in his limited 
time in order to tell his friends on his return about this isolated, 
almost unheard-of community, and how they made life endurable 
in their frigid northern climate. 

From Fort Garry to the Lower Fort the two men called at 
almost every house, and found a happy, prosperous, English- 
speaking people, mostly of Scotch descent from the immigrants 
sent over by Lord Selkirk. A few of other nationalities were also 
there. They were very kindly and hospitable people. The two 
men called upon Bishop Anderson of the English church, and 
found him to be "a fine old English gentleman all of the olden 
time." With him they visited the colleges, one for males and the 
other for females, where the youth received a classical education, 
and which institutions are still in existence. Here Mr. Cavalier 
first met Donald Murray, one of the original Selkirk settlers, who 
had once settled at South Pembina and had remained there until 
it was determined to be south of the international boundary line, 
and whose daughter is now Mr. Cavalier's wife. Mr. Cavalier 
somewhat enthusiastically says that .his impression at that time 
was that he had never seen a more prosperous community in the 
States than was the Selkirk settlement. There was not a family 
that was not well off as to all the wants of life. The latch string 


of every door hung on the outside, and all who called were wel- 
come to the best the larder contained, and when leaving were 
asked to come again. Sectarianism was unknown among them, 
there being only one church, the Episcopal. Though the Scotch 
were mostly Presbyterians, yet when Dalton Black settled among 
them and an Episcopal church was built for them, there was no 
ill feeling shown on either side. Their houses were all built of 
logs and built for comfort, convenience, and warmth. Many of 
them are yet occupied, but the changes caused by Canadian im- 
migration have had a large influence in changing their manner 
of life. However, they are today the same good people and live 
up to their religion. 

The half-breeds of the Selkirk settlement, speaking English, 
arc not nomads like those of French extraction, but take to the 
ways of their fathers and are workers and tillers of the soil. 
Nearly all have homes and lands of their own, educate their chil- 
dren, and have something laid by for a rainy day; while the 
French half-breeds, who are mostly of the Roman Catholic faith, 
believe that "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 

As the harvest of that season (1851) was nearly finished and 
the barnyards were filled with large and bountiful stacks of wheat 
and barley, and a stack or two of oats and peas, it was a rich sight, 
and there was no fear of starvation for two or more years, even 
should the crops fail. The land system, which gave a strip of land 
six chains wide fronting the Red River and extending back two 
miles, gave the settlement the appearance of a long, straggling 
village along the road from Fort Garry to the Lower Fort ; and as 
the dwellings, barns and stock were in close view all the way, the 
picture was a most beautiful and interesting one, such as is no- 
where seen in the States and rarely even in old Europe. 

The Selkirkers generally had large families and old. and 
young worked together on the homesteads . While like other farm- 
ers they suffered from drouth, grasshoppers, and frosts, yet they 
usually secured good crops, and saved a reserve for two or three 
years, an amount for seed, and sold the surplus to the Hudson 
Bay Company. Occasionally they would have poor crops and 
perhaps be compelled to use their reserve, or even to borrow from 
the Hudson Bay Company for seed and food. The company, 
whose interest it was to be liberal, as they depended upon these 




farmers for their supplies of wheat for their support, loaned wil- 
lingly, but required the payment from the succeeding crop. A 
government never existed, in the opinion of Mr. Cavalier, that 
got on better with settlers than the much abused Hudson Bay 


At that time, as before noted, all grain was cut with sickles 
and bound with willow withes by the women and children. Wheat, 
barley, and oats, were threshed on a barn floor with a flail during 
the winter season, and were winnowed with a large wind scoop 
ri'sting on the breast; and it was remarkable how fast, with a 
good wind, the grain could be cleaned. The wheat was ground 
ill large windmills, bolted fine and clean, and ■ made excellent 
bread. The flour was not like the flour of these days, and modern 
cooks would probably turn up their noses at it, but it was to the 
taste as good as our best. 

Mr. Cavalier in his rambles on that trip counted fifteen wind- 
mills, all grinding out flour at a lively rate, which at that time sold 
for eight or ten shillings per hundred weight. 

The old settlers told of a grasshopper scourge at a date for- 
gotten by them, that miade a clean sweep of every growing thing, 
and that grasshoppers were piled up by the winds and waves four 
feet deep on the shores of lake Manitoba and Shoal lake. They 
stated that after the grasshoppers had done all the damiage they 
could, as every thing was eaten, the Catholic clergy got up a pro- 
cession and said prayers, and on the next day the hoppers quit 
hopping, took to their wings, and flew away to the northward 
and were seen no more. 

Mr. Cavalier says the first time he saw grasshoppers was in 
1854. He was in camp one night on White Bear lake, now lake 
Whipple, and took an early start toward St. Cloud. It had rained 
during the night and all were wet, so at nine o'clock they turned 
out on the bank of Long lake and spread their clothes and other 
things to dry. They made a fire to cook breakfast. Mr. Cavalier, 
on looking around for his blankets, etc., saw nothing but a squirm- 
ing mass of grasshoppers, all as busy as if they had struck a 
bonanza. They were not able to get out of that mass of grass- 


hoppers until they had traveled about twenty miles. On the re- 
turn they struck them at St. Cloud, and they had cleaned the 
country quite thoroughly on their flight east. On crossing the 
Red river and between that and the Wild Rice river they struck 
the forerunners of another cloud of grasshoppers, and did not get 
clear of them until they arrived home at St. Joseph, now Walhalla. 
For gluttony the hopper takes the cake, ]\Ir. Cavalier says, and re- 
lates that they ate the seat of his saddle and the tops of his boots. 
He threw a plug of tobacco to them, and within an hour they had 
eaten that. 

In 1870 another visitation of grasshoppers appeared, and in 
that year and the year following their ravages were disastrous. 
In 1874 they came again and stayed three years, eating everything 
in the Red River valley, and the settlers were obliged to haul their 
flour from St. Cloud. Minneapolis and St. Paul sent relief to 
carry the poor through, which saved many from actual starva- 

Thus the Selkirkers, with the simplest and rudest of agricul- 
tural implements, were always prosperous, and want was un- 
known among them. Through them we learned that the Dakota 
lands were not the barren wastes and howling desert of dry, drift- 
ing sand that our school books had taught us, and that the Red 
River valley contained a mine of wealth greater than any dis- 
covered mine of silver and gold. This we were slow to realize, but 
have at length made the Red River valley the most bountiful gran- 
ary of the world. The windmills of that famous pioneer settlement 
have done their last grinding; most of the old hand labor imple- 
ments have been laid aside ; and the new and improved forms of 
farm machinery, so efiicicnt and so exact as to give almost the 
appearance of having human intelligence, have taken their place. 
These are run or propelled by horse and steam power, and the 
labor of one man has become as that of many. Mr. Cavalier 
rcminlsccntly says : *T was here for years living by the proceeds 
of the chase, never dreaming that this mode of livelihood would 
ever cease, or that the millions of buffaloes that roamed the prai- 
ries, would ever be exhausted, and that we old settlers would soon 
be seeking other means of support." 

The settlers south of the line had to depend upon the Selkirk 
tcttlement for their bread and butter. Old Father Belcourt, of 



St. Joseph, near the Pembina mountain, a CathoUc priest, and a 
rustler in all things for himself first and for his people next, built 
a bull mill at his mission at St. Joseph and ran it a few years 
with oxen, and ground what little wheat the half-breeds raised. 
With no bolt to take the bran out of the flour, it had to be run 
through sieves or eaten husks and all. The half-breeds did not 
furnish wheat enough to make the mill pay, and they could not be 
induced to greater industry, so that the good old man had to give 
the mill up. The result was that the half-breeds returned to the 
coffee-mill or ate the grain raw or roasted. That mill was the 
first. George Emerling and John Mayn built the next, and that 
mill is now one of the paying concern-^^ of Pembina county at Wal- 
halla, having all the new improvements in merchant mills. 


The first public business tending to civilization was the es- 
tablishing of a monthly mail between Pembina and Fort Aber- 
crombie. It was a kind of go-as-you-please, sometimes on foot, 
with the mail bag on the man's back, sometimes by horse and cart, 
and by courier, any way so that the mail was carried, and in those 
days it was never behind time. At least the contractor never was 
docked or fined. From Pembina the mail was taken to Fort 
Garry, and that office had to use Uncle Sam's stamps. From Fort 
Garry the route was to Fort Abercrombie and run by dog trains, 
horse and cart, and one year by ox cart, as all the horses from 
St. Cloud to Fort Garry died or were rendered useless by an ep- 
idemic. Sometime in the sixties, Capt. Blakeley and Carpenter 
secured the contract to carry the mail from St. Cloud to George- 
town on the Red river, and afterward had it extended to Fort 
Garry, Selkirk settlement. 

The following is a list of the stations. Beginning at Pembina 
and going up or south, the first station was Frank La Rose's, at 
Twelve Mile Point; next were Bowesmont and Long Point, near 
Drayton, Hugh Biggiotoff; and Kelly Point, now Acton. Kelly 
was an old driver and gave it up. Gerard was station agent as 
long after as the route was in existence. Beyond were Turtle 
River, Jo Caloskey ; Grand Forks, John Stewart first, and several 
others afterward; Buffalo Coulie, unknown; Frog Point, un- 



known ; Goose Prairie, A. Sargent ; Elm River, Johnson ; George- 
town, Hudson Bay Company; Oak Point, unknown; Twentv- 
four Mile Point, McCauleyville, and Breckenridge. At none of 
the above stations was a handful of grain raised. The contractors 
hauled all their oats from St. Cloud. The above named points 
were all the settled points, and there was not a settler elsewhere 
on the river from Breckenridge to Pembina. 


In 1858, Anson Northup got the steamboat Pioneer in suc- 
cessful operation. Mr. Cavalier says he was then living at St. 
Boniface, Selkirk settlement, and with his wife made a trip on her 
to Lower Fort Garr>% and he says that the settlers on the bank of 
the river were as much surprised as were the Indians in their vil- 
lages on the ^linnesota river at the first boat when she steamed up 
to Mankato. It was a perfect circus all the way down. 

The International made her appearance within three or four 
years afterward as a freight boat for the Hudson Bay Company, 
ostensibly owned by Commodore N. W. Kittson, and was used as 
long as there was need of a boat on the river. She was all the 
time under the command of Capt. Frank Aymond, a St. Louis 
Frenchman from Ville Roche, and he was an excellent captain. 
Since leaving the river he has been living on his farm some four 
miles above Neche on the Pembina river, where he expects to pass 
the remainder of his days to a happy old age. 

The Selkirk came next. She was built by James J. Hill ; and 
other boats were built to supply the increased demand. Then fol- 
lowed the combination known as the Red River Transportation 
Company, which did business under that head until the railroads 
successfully shut off river navigation. 

The amount of business that these boats accomplished was 
astonishing, and yet they did but little, perceptibly, toward set- 
tling the country, as there were only three or four points on 
the river that showed a beginning of what was to come. From 
Fargo and Moorhead to Grand Forks there were only a few 
settlers; and from Grand Forks to Drayton a few had settled to 
stay. Bowesmont was a steamboat landing, but never has amount- 
ed to much. Then Joliette commenced to grow and is now quite a 



prosperous community, and, last but not least, Pembina. Back 
from the river there was no settlement and without the aid of rail- 
roads it would have taken an age to build up the country to what it 
now is. 

Prior to 1878 there had been a few shipments of wheat, 
which had been picked up along the river by the boats. Frank 
C. Myrick, who was in the commission business from 1864, made 
the largest shipment on one of the boats ever made from Pembina. 
It amounted to 500 bushels of wheat, which he had collected from 
the back country- on the Pembina and Tongue rivers. From Grand 
Forks to Pembina settlers came dropping in by families one at 
a time, and all came with the idea that wheat was the only staple 
to be cultivated in the Red River valley, all of which they had 
learned from the remarkable crops raised in the Selkirk settlement 
with primitive tools for cultivation, yielding from twenty to fifty 
bushels per acre. In one instance by garden cultivation as an ex* 
periment on the ground of Deacon James McKay, the yield was 
seventy-five bushels to the acre. If such crops are raised in Sel- 
kirk with the imperfect cultivation, why may we not, they rea- 
soned, do the same or better with improved machinery farther 
south in the valley? For a few years they did so, and they con- 
tinued to do well as long as they confined themselves to the ex- 
tent of land they could properly cultivate. But greed was their 
worst enemy. If 160 acres panned out so well, why would not 
a section do better? And there they made a mistake, as will be 
explained later. 


During the period thus far traced, no wheat was raised south 
of the international boundary line. The settlers there lived on fish, 
flesh, and fowl. They raised all the garden vegetables needed, 
and bought flour from the Selkirk settlement. For fresh meat 
they depended upon the plains, and were seldom out of a supply. 
Barley was raised for horse feed, and some oats were raised, but 
the blackbirds devoured most of the oat fields. Having no mills 
to grind wheat, the settlers on the south side of the line raised 
none, hut did raise squaw corn for roasting ears. The few cattle 
were kept on hay in winter, and the Indian ponies dug theirs 




out of the snow, save in a period of unusually cold weather and 
deep snows, when they were fed hay. 

In 1871 or 1872, Charles Bottineau, who had tilled ten acres to 
garden, seeded it to wheat, and claims to have raised fifty bushels 
of No. I hard wheat to the acre upon it. His place was four miles 
above Neche on the north side of Pembina river. Two years 
later Charles Grant, two miles west of Pembina, raised a small 
field of wheat, and claims to have averaged forty bushels to the 
acre, ail of which they hauled to the Selkirk settlement to have it 
ground. A man named Vere Ether came to Pembina at the be- 
ginning of Kiel's rebellion (1869), and was stopped at the boun- 
dary line by Kiel's scouts. They sent him back to wait for a 
more convenient time. He was persuaded to take a preemption 
on the Pembina river a few miles east of Neche. He opened up 
his farm and was the first settler there who made wheat-rais- 
ing his chief employment. He always had good crops, in good 
seasons forty bushels per acre and never less than fifteen bushels. 


One of the oldest settlers and farmers in the Ked River 
valley, south of the international line, is Hon. R. M. Probstfield, 
now living on his farm three and a half miles north of Moorhead. 
He came to the valley in 1859, located at the mouth of the 
Sheyenne river, about five miles south of Georgetown. In Octo- 
ber, i860, he went to Europe, and returned in the spring of 1861, 
but, owing to the flooded condition of the valley that spring, he 
was unable to reach his location until June loth. At that time 
parties by the name of Roundsville and Hanna were on the land 
where •Mr. Probstfield now lives, and that spring they sowed a lit- 
tle wheat and planted potatoes. Roundsville and Hanna were 
called away and they made arrangements with Mr. Probstfield to 
harvest the wheat and dig the potatoes, but the Qiippewa Indians 
threatened to drive them away and kill their stock. The wheat 
was destroyed by hail. IMr. Probstfield dug the potatoes. He had 
brought some cattle from St. Paul, and that fall he cut some hay 
on the place now occupied by Jacob Wambach. The Indians 
never molested them, as, after the troops at Fort Abercrombie had 
given them a whipping, they went north into the British possess- 


i ions. In the fall of 1861 he went to the post at Georgetown, and 

lived there until March, 1863, when General Sibley ordered all 
whites to go to Abercrombie. This was owing to the Indian up- 
rising. He remained at Abercrombie until June, 1863, when he 
was ordered by General Sibley to remove to St. Cloud, where he 
remained until May, 1864, when he returned to Georgetown. The 

J Indians had burned his buildings on the Wambach place, on the 

Buffalo river near Georgetown. He then opened a boarding house 
in one of the Hudson Bay Company's buildings at Georgetown, 

f- and was appointed postmaster. There were twenty-five men 

l there at work building barges, who lived in the military quarters 

r and boarded with him. 

k From 1864 to 1868, Mr. Probstfield was the Hudson Bay 

c Company's agent at Georgetown. In 1862 the company seeded 

some wheat, but it was not harvested, owing to the abandonment 
of the post on account of the Indian scare. The company leased 
its boat, the International, to Harris, Gaeger, Mills & Bentley, 
until the post was again opened in 1864. Roundsville and Hanna 
having abandoned their farm, in Oakport, Mr. Probstfield took it 

? as his homestead and occupied it in May, 1869, where he has 

t ever since lived. There were seventy-one acres in the place, and 

he afterwards purchased additional land at $1.25 per acre. In 

h 1869 he broke land for a garden, and seeded oats and barley and 

planted potatoes. He also kept live stock. As there were no 
threshing machines or mills in the country, it would not pay to raise 
wheat. In 1874, the Hudson Bay Company brought a thresher, 
a horse power machine, and the company's agent at Georgetown, 
Walter J. S. Traill, offered to thresh any wheat that was grown. 
Mr. Probstfield accordingly broke up fifteen acres and seeded it to 

t wheat, harvesting twenty-eight bushels per acre, which was sold 

at about $1.50 per bushel. I should have remarked that during 
the years 1870 to 1873, Mr. Probstfield cultivated ten acres to 
oats, barley, corn and garden. Moorhead and Fargo had begun 
to be established in 1871, and these places afforded an excellent 

• ^ market for all the produce grown. 

Nels Larson raised some wheat also in 1874, on land about 
two miles north of Moorhead, now known as Dr. Brendemuehl's 
farm. Ole Thompson, Hogan Anderson (Hicks), and Jens An- 
derson, raised wheat south of Moorhead the same year. This 



wheat was sold to an elevator in Fargo that was built before 
Bruns & Finkle had built their large elevator and mill in Moor- 

In 1875, Probstfield again raised wheat, and the number 
who were engaged in the industry considerably increased that 
year. In the spring of that year a number of Norwegians from 
Houston county came up and looked at land on the Dakota side 
between Georgetown and Argusville. Finding the land verv wet 
by overflow of the river, they returned to the Minnesota side, 
and Mr. Probstfield, meeting them, asked where they were going, 
and they replied, "Back to Houston county." He was cultivating 
potatoes, and he said to them that if they would put two young 
men to work in his place, he would go with them and show them 
good land that had been surveyed. They agreed, and he took 
them over to the Buffalo river about six or eight miles east, where 
they located. There were six or seven families, and among them 
v/ere Ole Thortvedt, Ole Tauge, Torgerson Skree, Oie .\nderson, 
and others. They were delighted with the location and land, and 
they or their descendants are still there and prosperous. A. G. 
Kassenborg, A. O. Kragnes, and B. Gunderson and others, came 
a little later, and located on the Buffalo river. Jacob Wambach 
came in 1874, with his father-in-law, Joseph Stochen. Contem- 
porary with ^Ir. Probstfield was E. R. Hutchinson, who settled 
where he still resides, about two miles south of Georgetown on 
the river. The boom began about 1878, when the immigration 
into the valley was very large. Wheat sold for $1 and above until 
about 1882, and it fell until it reached the low price of 42 or 43 

One of the oldest settlers in the valley on the Dakota side 
and one of the most successful farmers is James Holes. He came 
in July, 1 87 1, and bought out the claim of Ole Hanson, who had 
a cabin on the west bank of the river about one mile north of the 
Northern Pacific surveyed line. Hanson had a small patch of 
corn and potatoes. No corn was secured that year, and Mr. 
Holes says he dug about half a barrel of potatoes. The Northern 
Pacific railroad had laid tracks in the fall of 1871 to the east side 
of the river, to a point where ^Nloorhead now stands. There was 
no bridge as yet, and owing to want of timber the bridge was not 



built until the summer of 1872: The first engine crossed the river 
July 4 (or June 6), 1872. Mr. Holes states that the freight 
charges for wheat to Duluth at that time were prohibitory and 
this discouraged the growing' of it. He interviewed the general 
manager and made such representations to him. The charge then 
was $99 for 20,000 pounds. This was exactly 30 cents per bushel. 
The company soon after (in 1873) rnade a considerable reduction. 
Jn 1872 Mr. Holes had the largest cultivated field in Cass county. 
It was cropped to oats, potatoes, and garden vegetables, and con- 
tained twenty-four acres. There were good markets, and Mr. 
Holes shipped his produce to Fort Buford, Bismarck, Winnipeg, 
and Glyndon. In 1873 he pursued the same employment. In 1874 
he seeded fifteen acres of wheat, and harvested twenty bushels per 
acre. The season was dry, and, as the land had been gardened, it 
blew out badly, which caused a rather light yield for those early 
years. The wheat was the Scotch Fife variety, and he sold it for 
seed. In 1875 his acreage of wheat v/as about the same, but hav- 
ing in 1876 broken 150 acres, in the spring of 1877 he seeded 175 
acres to wheat and secured an average of twenty-seven and one- 
half bushels per acre, which he sold at $1 per bushel. As this wheat 
was raised on land worth $5 per acre, the profit was large. 

From 1878 to 1893, ^Ir. Holes yearly increased his acreage ' 
of wheat until he had reached 1,600 acres, which has been about 
the extent of his yearly wheat cultivation since. His land is now 
worth $30 per acre. . The poorest field he ever harvested was ten 
bushels per acre, and the best forty-four bushels. His average has 
always exceeded ten bushels, but never exceeded twenty-seven 
and one-half bushels. The price has ranged from $1.50 to 45 cents 
per bushel. Grasshoppers prevailed from 1871 to 1877, and 
wreaked more or less damage every year. In May, 1876, the 
settlers burned the young grasshoppers in the prairie grass, which 
checked them ; and in 1877 they all flew away, and this part of 
tlie valley has not been troubled with them since. Islr. Holes' 
crops have, in the tv/enty-eight years of his residence here, been 
injured by hail four seasons. The most disastrous hailstorm was 
last season, when he lost, as he figures it, about 16,000 bushels 
of wheat by hail. Mr. Holes states as his judgment, formed af- 
ter long experience, that wheat can be produced at a profit in the 


valley when properly cultivated, excluding from the calculation 
the advance in price of land, and that the valley is one of the best 
in the United States for profitable farming. 

Jvloorhead was the terminus of the Northern Pacific railroad 
for a period of two years, and a large amount of freight was 
transferred at that point for transportation down the Red river 
to Winnipeg and other places. At that time nine steamers were 
plying on the river, and a number of flatboats were used in con- 
nection. An eye witness has informed me that he has seen as 
many as eleven hundred Mennonite immigrants camped at Moor- 
head and bound for Manitoba and the Northwest Territory, who 
pitched their tents on the banks of the Red River, awaiting trans- 
portation by boat down. 

In May, 1871, there were a few settlers at Glyndon, Musko- 
da, and Kawley, and a few along the Red river within the 
present limits of Clay county. The very earliest settlements were 
made at Georgetown by Adam Stein, R. M. Probstfield, and E. 
R. Hutchinson, who became husbandmen and tillers of the 
soil. We have the gratification of knowing that they are still liv- 
ing witnesses of the fertility of the Red River valley soil and the 
healthfulness of the climate, and moreover of the fecundity of 
mankind when under the influence of both these. Mr. Hutchin- 
son is the father of seventeen children, Mr. Probstfield of thir- 
teen, and Mr. Stein of eight. 

It may be of interest to my hearers to learn the particulars as 
to how it happened that these three pioneers drifted into what 
is now^ one of the most famous agricultural regions in the v/orld, 
but which was then a dreary waste uninhabited save by Indians 
and roamed by wild beasts. In March, 1859, ^ party of capital- 
ists, consisting in part of ^lessrs. Peter Poncin, Welch, and Bot- 
tineau, of Minneapolis, and Barneau, John Irvine, and Freuden- 
reich, of St. Paul, explored the Red river country ; and their in- 
vestigations convinced them that a point at the mouth of the Shey- 
enne river, about fourteen miles north of the present site of Moor- 
head, was the head of navigation of the Red river, and they 
judged that it was the natural point for a townsite. They there- 
fore covered a plot of land at the point named on the Minnesota 
side of the Red river with scrip, and laid out a town which they 
named La Fayette, and they sold a great many shares in this 



lownsite to parties east. On the site they built a large log house, 
which they intended for a tavern. At this time ^Mr. Probstfield 
was in business at St. Paul in partnership with George Emerling, 
and the townsite owners induced Mr. Probstfield to go up to La 
Fayette. He remained there for a year or more and soon after 
preempted a claim on the south side of Buffalo river, not far 
from Georgetown. In 1864 he went into the employ of the Hud- 
son Bay Company at Georgetown, where they had a warehouse 
and trading post. 

Mr. Stein was induced in July, 1859, g"*^ La Fayette, 
and he afterwards preempted a claim near Georgetown. His first 
work was in cutting prairie grass and making hay, which he sold 
to the Hudson Bay Company; and later he worked in erecting 
buildings at Georgetown for that company. In December, i86i,_ 
Mr. Stein enlisted as a soldier in the Fourth Minnesota regiment 
and served through the Civil war. After his return from the 
war, he settled on land near the Hudson Bay Company's build- 
ings at Georgetown, and has been a farmer there ever since. 

The first steamboat on the Red river was built at La Fayette, 
the materials for which were transported across the country from 
Crow Wing on the Mississippi, where the steamer North Star 
was broken up for that purpose. The new boat was named the 
Anson Northup. With the party who came across the country 
with those materials was E. R. Hutchinson, who helped to build 
the boat, and for a number of years he was engaged in boating 
on the Red river and building boats thereon and also on the Sas- 
katchewan. Mr. Hutchinson afterward became a farmer and pre- 
empted land not far from the old site of La Fayette, where he 
now lives. I have related in another place how Mr. Probstfield 
became one of the first farmers in the valley. Besides these three 
men on the north of the line of the Northern Pacific railroad there 
were on the south Jens Anderson and his brother, about three 
miles south of :\roorhead. Ole Thompson made settlement about 
the same time on the river about eleven miles south. 

Early in the spring of 1871 Henry A. Bruns w^ent from St. 
Cloud to Brainerd, which was then the w^estern end of the Nor- 
thern Pacific railroad track. From Brainerd he rode to Oak Lake, 
at the engineers' headquarters of the road, where he met Gen. 
Thomas L. Rosser. The Northern Pacific had surveyed its line 




to the Red river at a point some twenty-eight miles below ]^vIoor- 
head. Mr. Brims was prospecting, looking for business chances. 
He then returned to St. Paul, bought a load of provisions and 
ready-made clothing, an5 hauled them to the Red river. Where 
Mr. Probstfield's house now stands (about three and a half miles 
north of ^.loorhead), he found an encampment of tents, and here 
he met H. G. Finkle, J. B. Chapin, and John Haggert. This was 
about June, 1871. Mr. Bruns opened out his goods in a tent, and 
formed a partnership with Mr. Finkle. They remained at this 
point (Oakport) until September, when, the townsite of ]\Ioor- 
head having been staked out, all those at Oakport removed there- 
to. At Moorhead they did business in tents all winter. In March, 
1872, Mr. Bruns went to r^I'cCauleyville and bought a lot of 
lumber, hired team.s, and hauled it to Moorhead. Bruns & Finkle 
then erected a frame building, of 21 by 50 feet. They continued 
to do business in this building until 1877, when they built a large 
brick store. 

We have given this somewhat lengthy introduction of Mr. 
Bruns into this history for the reason that he was a pioneer in 
promoting the industry of wheat raising in the Red River valley. 
In the winter of 1871-2, Mr. Bruns purchased 500 bushels of seed 
wheat, which he gathered along the Minnesota river and farther 
south and east, and transported it hundreds of miles by sleds, 
which wheat he distributed among the farmers of Clay and Nor- 
man counties, Minnesota, and Cass and Traill counties, Dakota. 
The facilities for raising wheat that year being poor and the 
grasshoppers very destructive, there was no surplus from the har- 
vest in excess of the amount required for seed the next year. 
Early in 1874, Mr. Bruns organized a stock company which erect- 
ed the first flouring mill and sawmill. This mill soon demonstrat- 
ed that the v/heat of the valley was of superior quality for making 
strong: flour and excellent bread. The flour was awarded the first 
premium at the 2^[inneapolis and ^Minnesota State fairs two con- 
secutive seasons. The sawmill cut timber for the construction of 
the steamboats, the Minnesota and ^Manitoba, built at IMoorhead 
in 1875, by the Merchants' Transportation Company, of which 
James Douglas, brother of John Douglas of St. Paul was presi- 
dent. They were the best boats ever on Red river. This assist- 
ed in opening up Manitoba and the Northwest Territory markets. 



Later the Upper ^Missouri and Black Hills countries were secured,^ 
and later still the Yellowstone country, as markets for the flour of 
this mill. It created a market for the wheat produced within a 
wide radius, and for a number of years took all that was offered, 
rarely giving less than Si per bushel. 

In 1878, Bruns and Finkle, seeing the necessity for more 
storage for the rapidly increasing production of wheat, erected a 
large steam elevator at Aloorhead, with a capacity of 110,000 
bushels. It was the first steam elevator built in the Red River 
valley. Mr. Bruns informs the writer that in the fall of 1873 he 
shipped the first carload of wheat from the Red river to lake 
Superior, which, by personal hard work in cleaning, was graded 
No. 2, though it certainly was No. i, none like it ever having been 
shipped in the history of the world before. Mr. Bruns, in a per- 
sonal letter, says: "In the fall of 1874 I commenced to grind 
about all the wheat then grown in the Red River valley, and in 
the fall of 1875 I gathered wheat and other grain, not as before 
by the thousand but by the tens of thousands of bushels, and with 
wheat and flour of my own grinding supplied the Canadian gov- 
ernment and Mennonites with seed and bread throughout Mani- 

Of the pioneer farmers who broke land extensively and op- 
ened farms in Clay county are John and Patrick H. Lamb. Frank- 
lin J. Schreiber, G. S. Barnes, Lyman Loring, George M. Rich- 
ardson, Capt. W. H. Newcomb, A. M. Burdick, W. J. Bodkin, 
and Charles Brendemuehl. 


Wheat was grown near Abercrombie, on the east or Minne- 
sota side of the river, in what is now Wilkin county, about as 
early as anywhere in the valley, except in the Selkirk settlement 
and in Pembina county. North Dakota, then the Territory of 
Dakota. Probably the first man to sow and harvest wheat in the 
upper or southern part of the valley was Hon. David ^IcCauley. 
I append herewith his narrative just as he has given it to me. 

"I came to Abercrombie July 17, 1861, to act as post sutler, 
liostmaster, and agent for the Northwestern Transportation Com- 
I'-iny. In the spring of 1862, I sowed a few acres of barley, 


planted potatoes, and opened up a garden, which were destroyed 
by the Indians in August. In the spring of 1864, I crossed over 
on the Minnesota side of the river opposite to the fort and com- 
menced farming. In 1865 ^ sowed some seventy-five acres of 
oats and planted a few acres of potatoes, and continued to sow 
and plant the same crops until 1871. There was no market for 
wheat until that time, nor until the railroad reached Mborhead 
or Breckenridge. In the spring of 1872 I put in a few acres of 
wheat, and have continued the same up to the present time. This 
season (1899) I raised 10,000 bushels of wheat. In the earlier 
years the yield of wheat was about the same as now. The land 
that I cultivated in 1865 has been cropped every year since ex- 
cept three, and the yield in 1899 ^^as as good as I have known it. 
I know of no wheat being sown in the valley earlier than mine. 
The following are some of the men who sowed wheat soon after 
I did: Edward Connolly and Mitchell Robert, Breckenridge; 
Loure Bellman, J. R. Harris, and J. B. Welling, McCauleyville ; 
Frank Herrick and John Eggen, Abercrombie. In the early days 
the only market for oats and potatoes was Fort Abercrombie." 


Prior to 1878 there were no settlements away from the Red, 
Red Lake, and Pembina rivers, in the lower or northern portion of 
the valley, so that, in treating of the Minnesota side north of the 
Northern Pacific railroad, it is apparent that no wheat was grown 
on that side (except near Moorhead) until the completion of the 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railroad (now the Great Nor- 
thern) to St. Vincent, when immigration set in, bringing settlers 
to many stations, who at once began to break land and sow it to 
wheat. The district between the railroad and Red river was first 

It is a fact, which none will dispute, that the building of rail- 
roads into and through the valley has been the most important 
factor in settling the country and developing the resources of this ^ 
fertile plain. Without these it would today be practically unpop- 
ulated and undeveloped, as it remained for fifty years after the 
Selkirk settlers had demonstrated its adaptability to cultivation. 



There might have been a fringe of settlements along the streams, 
but without more efficient means for transporting wheat and other 
agricultural products to market, there could not have been anv 
great development and production. 


Another leading factor in settling the country has been the 
so called bonanza farms. Those demonstrated on a large scale 
the practicability of producing wheat at a profit on the flat lands 
of the valley. They advertised the results of great operations, 
and made known to the world the wonderful possibilities of the 

The first of these was the Dalrymple farm, eighteen miles 
west of the Red river, opened up in 1875 and subsequent years. 
A brief description of this farm may be of interest. In the year 
1875, a number of large holders of the bonds of the Northern 
Pacific railroad company, supposed to be the Grandin brothers, 
Messrs. Cass, Howe, and Cheney, who had taken the bonds at par 
and which were then worth only ten cents on the dollar, deter- 
mined to save as much as possible, and exchanged the bonds for 
a great block of the company's lands in the Red River valley. In 
March, 1875, Oliver Dalrymple, an experienced farmer of Minne- 
sota, examined the land and became convinced of its value for 
wheat growing. He therefore entered into a contract with the 
owners to test the merits of the soil, the terms of which contract 
are understood to be that they were to furnish the stock, imple- 
ments, and seed, with which to cultivate the land, and were to 
receive in return seven per cent, on the amount invested, Dal- 
rymple to have the option of paying back the principal and inter- 
est, at which time he was to be granted one third of the land. In 
that year he broke 1,280 acres, and his first harvest, in 1876, yield- 
ed 32,000 bushels of the choicest wheat, or an average of a little 
more than twenty-three bushels per acre. 

As soon as the results of Mr. Dalrymple's experiment became 
known, capital began seeking the depreciated railroad bonds and 
exchanging them for land, and labor flocked from adjoining 
states to preempt government land. In ^lay, June, and July, 



1879, the sales of government land amounted to nearly 700,000 
acres, and during the year, 1,500,000 acres were taken on home- 
stead preemption, and tree claims in Dakota. 

The Dalrymple holdings comprised some 100,000 acres in all, 
and in 1878 the wheat acreage had been increased to 13,000 acres ; 
and it was increased from year to year until in 1895 there were 
some 65,000 acres under cultivation. The cultivated land was 
subdivided into tracts of 2,000 acres, each tract being managed 
by a superintendent and foreman, with its own se: of books. Each 
estate had suitable and complete buildings, consisting of houses for 
superintendent and men, stables, granaries, tool-houses, and other 
buildings. As a matter of course, to carry on the Dalrymple farm 
required the services of a large number of men and horses, the 
use of many plows, harrows, seeders, harvesters, threshers and 
engines, wagons, and other implements and tools. A settlement 
was effected in 1896 and years following, Mr. Dalrymple tak- 
ing his share, and the great farm was divided and now comprises, 
besides the Dalrymple, the Howe and Cheney farms, and perhaps 


Another bonanza farm of large extent was the Grandin farm 
consisting of 38,000 acres, of which 14,000 acres in and around 
Grandin, and 6,000 acres near Mayville in Traill county. North 
Dakota, are now under cultivation. The first crop of wheat was 
grown and harvested on this farm in 1878. This farm was oper- 
ated in a similar manner as the Dalrymple farm, being divided 
into tracts of 1,500 acres, managed by a foreman. The two farms 
employ some 300 men and 300 horses, and use 100 plows, 50 seed- 
ers, 75 binders, 10 separators, and 10 engines, etc. The average 
yield of wheat on this farm has been 17 bushels per acre. In 
1899 a severe hailstorm destroyed eight sections of wheat on this 
farm, which was ripe for the harvest. That was the only wide- 
spread damage that has occurred to the crops of the farm in the 
twenty-one years it has been operated. 

There are a number of other bonanza farms on both sides of 
the river, as the Lockhart and Keystone farms, respectively in 
Norman and Polk counties, Minnesota, and the Dwight, Fairview, 



Cleveland, Downing, and Antelope farms in North Dakota. In 
fact, large farms have been opened in all the twelve counties, 
farms comprising three to five sections of land. They have served 
their purpose, and many of them have been reduced or divided 
and sold. 


it is interesting to note the rapid growth of population and 
wealth that has taken place in the Red River valley within thirty 
years. In that time many cities, villages, and hamlets, have been 
established and builded, some of which have grown until they 
may fairly be denominated as magnificent and metropolitan. It 
is hardly needed to name Fargo and ^loorhead (one city in a 
commercial and social sense, although situated in different states) ; 
Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, similarly situated ; and like- 
wise Wahpeton and Breckenridge. Pembina and St. Vincent also 
are somewhat similarly situated, though more distant from each 
other. Besides there are Crookston, on the Red Lake river, Hal- 
lock, Warren, Ada, and Barnesville, in Minnesota, Grafton and 
Hillsboro, in North Dakota, and many others of less note in both 

In 1870 the population of the twelve counties was about 
1,000. In 1880 it was 56,000. In 1890 it was 166,000. In 1900 it 
is estimated to be 350,000. The valuation of property in the val- 
ley in 1870 was zero. At this date it is estimated at not less than 
$100,000,000 ; and I am speaking of assessed valuation, which is, 
as a matter of course, far short of actual valuation. 


While there has been a somewhat remarkable development of 
the wheat growing industry in the Red River valley, and it is 
undisputed that its soil and climate are as favorable as any in the 
United States, and perhaps in the world, yet many industrious 
men have scored failures. In every employment, business, or 
industry, failures sometimes occur; and therefore, if they have 
occurred in raising wheat where the conditions are favorable, it 
is not surprising. It is also clear that such failures are chargeable 
to the mistakes of the men so engaged, rather than to the country. 



From a long observation of the methods employed and of the 
equipment of those who have pursued the work, I am of the opin- 
ion that the chief cause of failure has been the fact that men have 
undertaken larger tasks than their means warranted. In the early 
years of the settlement of the valley men were infected as with 
a craze. Wheat was selling at a dollar and upwards per bushel, 
while land could be had by paying the government fees for mak- 
ing entry, or by purchase at $5 per acre. Stories of large yields 
and high prices were circulated, and many believed that they 
could make themselves rich in a few years by raising wheat. 
Many embarked in it on borrowed capital, secured at high rates 
of interest; and some capital is needed although no payment of 
money was made in advance on the land. It must be broken and 
seeded, the crop harvested, threshed, and marketed. To do this 
requires horses, implements, and hire of laborers. Many men, 
doubtless, who have commenced in this way have succeeded : but 
this result has been accomplished by superior skill, economy, good 
business management, and fortuitous circumstances. By far the 
greater number have failed in the end. They may have w^on some 
success for a year or more, but, when they found themselves 
ahead, greed got the better of their foresight and judgment, and 
they have contracted for more land and larger equipment. Then a 
year of light yield, of damage by flood, drouth or frost, and a fall 
of price in conjunction, have succeeded, which has greatly dimin- 
ished the value of their harvested crop ; while the labor bills, the 
payments for machinery, the interest on borrowed capital, have 
piled up, and so the failure comes. 

If these men had been satisfied to let well enough alone, if 
they had continued to cultivate what they might have done with- 
out hiring much help or buying additional machinery, they would 
have weathered the unfavorable years, as their obligations would 
have been small, and as to obtaining a living, there is no question 
but that they could have done that, though their entire crop was 
a failure. They could have found work with their horses among 
their neighbors ; they could have cut hay on the wide prairies and 
have hauled it to market, or found employment sufficient to keep 
themselves and families, in a score of ways. 

It has been the undue haste to get rich, the reaching out and 
covering more land than they had means of doing, except on bor- 
rowed capital, that has been the ruin of so many. This inclination 


has also had another injurious effect. It has produced poor culti- 
vation, careless plowing and seeding, harvesting and threshing 
at unseasonable times, and general slighting of work, instead of 
thorough, timely and skillful" cultivation, which always brings its 
reward, but the other kind never. 


I am of the firm opinion that, whereas the average of wheat 
produced from an acre of land in the valley is about fifteen bush- 
els per acre, or in some years a little more, it could be raised to 
28 or 30 bushels ; and that, while there are now produced crops 
ranging from 12 to 30 bushels per acre, there could be secured 30 
lo 40 bushels almost invariably. I am confirmed in this opinion 
by numerous instances where small fields which have been espec- 
ially treated and cultivated, sown to wheat, have produced 35 to 
40 bushels per acre. Thus we have seen pieces which had been 
cultivated to roots, potatoes, garden vegetables, etc., in previous 
years, the cultivation of which crops has required deep tillage, 
frequent stirring of the ground with plow or cultivator, and other 
pieces which had been seeded to timothy and pastured, being 
plowed and sown to wheat, produce 35 and as high as 42 bushels 
per acre in years when the adjoining large fields did not average 
more than 16 or 18 bushels per acre. 

And so the conclusion is drawn that when the valley becomes 
more thickly settled, the value of land higher, compelling to bet- 
ter cultivation, and in less extensive tracts, no man undertaking 
to exceed 320 acres, the yield per acre will be increased. When 
this time comes, it will be accompanied also with more diversified 
fanning. There will be flocks and herds, milk and butter, eggs 
and fowl, beef, pork and mutton, etc.; and then the Red River 
valley will be, according to its extent, the most productive region 
in the whole country. 


Along in 1883. or 1884, the price of wheat at Red river points 
liaving fallen to about 60 cents, there was little or no profit in its 
production and in many cases a considerable loss, which caused 
great uneasiness and dissatisfaction among the farmers. They 



looked about them for some relief, and, as the cost of transport- 
ing wheat to the terminal points was the same, namelv, 25 cents 
per hundred pounds, or 15 cents per bushel, as when wheat sold 
for $1.00 or more per bushel, they were of opinion that the freight 
charge should be reduced. They thought that the railroad com- 
panies might fairly be called upon to share with them some of the 
loss that they sustained. Appeals to the companies for reduction 
were without effect. Therefore the farmers resolved to secure a 
reduction, and other reforms connected therewith, by political ac- 
tion, and they began holding meetings, where the whole matter 
was discussed and resolutions passed. A good deal of complaint 
was also made against the alleged close alliance that existed be- 
tween the railroad companies, the elevator companies, and the 
millers' association, by which every producer was compelled to 
pass his wheat through an elevator and pay its charges for hand- 
ling, which fixed its grade, and he generally had to sell it to the 
elevator at such a price as the company owning the elevator might 
give. The farmer wanted the right to load on cars and ship direct 
to a terminal market. This agitation had its birth in Clay county, 
and it extended throughout the wheat-raising districts of the state. 
It was the promoting cause for the organization of the Farmers' 
Alliance, which afterward became a political party, and evolved 
into the People's party. It had its effect, and the legislature, in 
its session of ,1885, passed an act, approved March 5, 1885, wliich 
regulated railroads and provided for the board of railroad and 
warehouse commissioners. 

Briefly stated, the law provided that the railroad companies 
should make annual reports to the board of commissioners, show- 
ing amount of stock subscribed, amount of assets and liabilities, 
amount of debt, estimated value of roadbed, of rolling stock, of 
stations and buildings, mileage of main tracks and of branches, 
tons of through and local freight carried, monthly earnings for 
carrying passengers and freight, expenses incurred in running 
passenger and freight trains, and all other expenses, rate of pas- 
senger fare, tariff of freights, and many other minor particulars 
and things ; and the commission was authorized to make and pro- 
pound any other interrogatories relating to the condition, operation 
and control of railroads in this state, as might be necessary, and 
they were empowered to make investigation, examine books, etc. ; 



and proper penalties were provided for in case of refusal of com- 
panies to furnish the information demanded. It also required ev- 
try railroad company to permit any person or company to build 
and operate elevators at any of its way stations. It compelled 
railroads to furnish cars on application for transporting- grain 
stored in any and all elevators or warehouses without discrimina- 
tion. It prohibited extortion and discrimination in rates, and 
also empowered the commission to notify any railroad company 
of any changes in rates, or in operation of roads, that in their 
judgment ought to be made for carrying passengers or freight, 
and, in case of refusal of the company to make them, to institute 
suit to compel such changes or reductions. 

At the same time the legislature passed an act to regulate 
elevators and warehouses, and for the inspection and weighing of 
grain. The main provisions of this act may be stated as follows : 
Declaring all elevators and warehouses at Duluth, ^Minneapolis, 
and St. Paul, public ; requiring their proprietors to tak^ out li- 
cense ; providing that such elevators and warehouses shall receive 
grain for storage without discrimination, to give receipts therefor, 
to deliver the grain or return the receipt ; requiring the owner or 
lessee to make and post weekly in a conspicuous place a statement 
of kind and grade of grain received, to send a report daily to the 
state registrar, and to publish rates for storage; prohibiting the 
mixing together of grain of different grades ; providing for the 
appointment of a state weighmaster and assistants, who shall 
weigh grain at points where it is inspected ; providing for the ap- 
pointment of a chief inspector and of deputy inspectors, for the 
inspection and grading of grain under such rules as the commis- 
sion shall prescribe, for which inspection a fee shall be collected 
sufficient to meet the expenses of the service ; and providing that 
the commission shall establish Minnesota grades and pubHsh the 

Under these laws and amendments thereto, it is well known 
and undisputed that there has been much more freedom in the 
shipment of wheat and other grain than before. Farmers have 
5incc been able to order cars to a side track and load them from 
their wheat fields, or otherwise, whence they are hauled to such 
market as they shall designate. The commissioners have, under 
JIk- law, defined and established grades of wheat, and the inspec- 




tion is made at the terminals in accordance therewith, and the 
wheat is also weighed. 

The operation of this law seems to have been beneficial and 
satisfactory for the most part. The season of 1898 was an excep- 
tion, when it was charged that the grades were suddenly stiffened, 
by which the producer lost one or more grades, or from 4 to 7 
cents in value per bushel of wheat, and that this stiffening was 
without just ground. These charges also originated, as the agita- 
tion for reduction of freight charges had done, in Clay county, 
and were made an issue in the state election that year; and it is 
believed that, as Hon. John Lind, the candidate for governor of 
the Democrats, Populists, and Silver Republicans, championed 
them, it gave him many votes. They were substantially verified 
by an investigation made by a joint committee of the legislature. 

The freight on wheat, in cents per 100 pounds, since the set- 
tlement of the Red River valley, from different primary points 
to Minneapolis and Duluth, has been as follows : 

To Minneapolis To Duluth. 

Sept. Oct. July Sept. Oct. July 

Various I, q, 21. i. Q, 21. 

Dates 1S91 i^S 1S9S 1S91 1S95 


Morris 28c. 12 12 12 15 I5 ^4/2 


Breckenridge 35 M U 13 ^5 I5 I45^ 


Crookston 27 16^ i6!< 14 i^'A i^'A I4 


St. Vincent 35 18 18 16 t8 18 16 


Moorhead 25 15^2 IS'A H'A isH ISH 


Fargo 25 I5>< isH U'A iS/2 ^S'A hA 


Glyndon 25 15^1- isA H ^A isA 14 


Fergus Falls 23 14 i4 U M^-* I4h 14 


Since the first wheat was grown in the Red River valley, a 
revolution has occurred in plowing, seeding, harvesting, and 
threshing. By the old method of plowing, with the best plow 
and horses, one man with a 14-inch walking plow and a pair of 



good horses, might plow two and a half acres of land in a day. 
Now one man with a gang plow, turning 28 inches, and drawn 
by four horses, can plow four and a half acres. The area is not 
quite doubled for the reason that the speed is somewhat slackened 
by increased weight, the driver riding on the plow, thus render- 
ing the labor much easier to him. 

By the old method of seeding by hand one man could sow 
sixteen acres in a day, and the land had to be harrowed and 
dragged, often with tree tops, to smooth it. Now with a drill, 
drawn by four horses, one man will put in twenty-five acres and 
no harrowing is necessary afterward, although many harrow the 
land previous to seeding. 

By the old method of cutting grain with a cradle a good man 
could cut four acres, while it required another man to rake and 
bind it. Now with the best binder, drawn by three horses, he 
can cut sixteen acres, and the machine binds it, and carries along a 
number of bundles and drops them in rows. 

In threshing there is even more disparity in the amount ac- 
complished by modern machinery over the old methods. In fact, 
the difference is so great that a comparison is not worth while. 
With the best and largest threshing machine, 3,500 bushels of 
wheat can be threshed in a day. Thus on land producing an aver- 
age of 20 bushels per acre, one day's work will thresh the wheat 
g:rown on 175 ecres. The area of land covered in a day will be 
more or less than this, according to the average yield per acre. 
To operate this machine, which is provided with a self-feeder and 
an automatic band-cutter, also a blower which stacks the straw, 
'^nly four men are required. To haul the bundles to the machine 
requires eighteen men and twenty horses, or ten wagons with two 
horses to each. The number of men and horses and wagons re- 
quired to do the hauling of the threshed wheat from the machine 
to the granary, elevator, or cars, depends upon the distance to be 
traversed. It costs at the present time ten cents per bushel to 
thresh the wheat and load it into wagon tanks. 


I have gathered the statistics of wheat acreage and yield for 
1898 from the most reliable sources obtainable, namely, from the 
county auditor's office of each county which lies partly or mainly 


in the Red River valley south of the international boundary. Some 
of the officers reported that the statistics on this head as furnished 
by the assessors were not full, owing to the failure of some of 
the assessors to make returns ; but in these cases, at my request, 
the auditors furnished me with estimates based upon other sourc- 
es of information. Therefore, although the figures in the follow- 
ing table cannot be claimed to be absolutely correct, they approach 
accuracy, and, it is believed, are in no case excessive. 

Acreage and Production of Wheat in 1898 in the Counties of the 
Red River Valley. 

Counties in Minnesota. 

Acres. Bushels. 

Wilkin 126,418 1,896.270 

Clay 210,440 3,367.040 

Norman 166,2,77 2,438,662 

Polk 347,346 4,862,844 

Marshall 186,716 • 2,614,024 

Kittson 14^,85/ 2,000.000 

1.180,154 17,178,840 

Counties in North Dakota. 

Acres. Bushels. 

Richland 226,720 3,057,714 

. Cass 495,499 7,916,896 

Traill 271,907 5-371, 129 

Grand Forks 329.498 5,676,322 

Walsh 257,500 3,960,175 

Pembina 258.211 4,956,680 

1-839.335 30,938,916 
Total 3.019.489 48,117,756 

Assuming that the average price of wheat for the year's crop 
at points of production was 60 cents per bushel, the value of the 
crop for 1898 to the producers was $28,870,653. This sum meas- 
ures the wealth-creating value of this one staple for the year 
named. But this is not the whole story. The wheat farmers of 
the twelve Red River valley counties produced a greater value. 
They added a much larger amount than nearly twenty-nine mil- 
lion dollars to the wealth of the country. I assume that this 
crop was transported cither as wheat or flour to New York. As 
a matter of course, not all of it was actually carried direct to New 


York', but a large part of it was carried to that port, either for do- 
mestic consumption or for export ; and it is fair to assume that it 
would cost, on the average, as much in local freights and handling 
charges to distribute the other portion to the consumers through- 
out the country as to carry it through to New York. The cost of 
carriage to New York by all rail is about 24 1-2 cents per bushel: 
partly by rail and partly by lake and canal it is about 20 
cents. Basing the calculation on a rate of 21 cents (arbi- 
trarily found, for it is difficult to figure on an average rate for 
the year accurately, owing to the fluctuations in the lake and 
canal rate, or to ascertain the amount shipped by that route and 
the amount shipped by rail), the added value is $10,104,728. This 
increased value is properly assigned to the wheat, for the wheat 
pays the whole cost of marketing it. This large sum of ten mil- 
lion dollars was earned by the railroads, elevators, inspectors and 
weighers, boats, transferers, etc., which gave employment to 
large numbers of men. Thus the wheat produced in 1898, by the 
farmers of these twelve counties, which include the part of the 
Red River valley in the United States, added to the wealth of the 
country some thirty-nine millions of dollars ; and in the year 1899, 
just past, it is probably nearly as much. 

An explanation is needed, however, as to the actual cash 
price received by the producers for their crop of wheat for the 
year 1898. I find upon a careful examination of the price paid at 
Moorhcad that the average price for the year was about 57 cents 
per bushel ; that its average price for the four months of Septem- 
l^er, October, November, and December, 1898, was 55 cents ; and 
lor the remaining eight months of the year, from January to 
August, 1899, the average price was 59 cents, making an average 
for the year of 57 cents per bushel. It is a fact which must be re- 
vTognized that the producers in the section I am treating of sell 
the bulk of their crop in the four months prior to January i ; so 
^hat I will make the calculation of value of the crop produced in 
*h.e twelve Red River valley counties on this basis of its average 
I'X'al price for that period, which shows as follows: 48,117,756 
hushcls at 55 cents is $26,464,765.80. This is the minimum 
"in.ount of value, as, for such part of the crop as was sold by pro- 
'lucers after January i, 1899, four cents more per bushel on the 
average was realized. This explanation does not afi:ect the fore- 
'•'ing argument so far as it relates to the increased value of the 




wheat at points of consumption and export, all of which must be 
included in any calculation as to the wealth-creating value of the 


I have mentioned Charles Cavalier, of Pembina, who has 
taken great interest in my labors in gathering materials for this 
paper, and who has given me much valuable assistance. In fur- 
ther acknowledgement thereof, and in compliment to him, I desire 
to embrace herein a portion of a recent letter of his to me as fol- 
lows : 

"It would be a pleasant thing for me to be present with them 
[meaning this annual meeting of the society] and see some of the 
old faces of fifty years ago, but alas, the infirmities of eighty-one 
years forbid it. Present my respects to them, and tell them that 
though far away, I am with them in mind if not in body. I still 
keep up an occasional correspondence with my old friend, A. L. 
Larpenteur, and through him I hear from Bill Murray and others 
of the old timers, and I see occasionally the name of Ex-Governor 
Ramsey, for whom I have a high regard and a warm spot in my 
heart. He appointed me first territorial librarian, and has in many 
instances aided and befriended me. May he live until he learns 
to enjoy the good things of this footstool of God, and then, after 
his life of usefulness and goodness, tranquilly fall asleep and 
awake in the kingdom prepared for him and all of us who have 
kept God's commandments or tried to do so. Such is the wish ot 
this old settler whose mundane existence of close onto eighty-one 
years has been one of pleasure and enjoyment far exceeding its 
many ills and misery. My health is now tolerably fair." 


I have not found it practicable to treat wheat-growing as a 
state-wide industry, owing to its magnitude, and have confined 
myself strictly to the subject assigned to me, which has necessita- 
ted as much labor and research as I have been able, while editing 
a daily and weekly newspaper, to devote to it. With more abun- 
dant leisure I might properly have touched upon the expansivt 
prairies of the state, both level and rolling, and told something 



33-3 V 

of their productions, not only of their wheat, which makes the 
btrst bread ever eaten by man, but of their rye, oats, barley, corn, 
tlax-seed, and potatoes ; of their green meadows, which abound 
with luxuriant grass and furhish food for countless flocks and 
herds, and of the Minnesota cow, whose milk, after being treated 
in the creameries, makes the very best butter known to civiliza- 
tion ; of the fruit orchards, gardens, flowers, shrubbery, etc., to- 
^^cthcr with the neat and cozy dwellings that dot them o er and 
arc the homes of a hardy, happy, and prosperous people. 

I might have touched upon the great extent of forests, from 
which have been taken so many millions of feet of the best white 
pine and hardwood lumber, adding largely to the wealth of the 
state, and which are not yet exhausted. 

I might have told of the iron mines, which, for richness and 
extent, have been one of the marvels of the closing part of the 
nineteenth century, and which are yet, maybe, to exceed the most 
sanguine expectations of enthusiasts ; of the mighty river having 
its rise in our state, whose commerce has been so great a factor 
in the making of the history of the North American continent, 
and advancing its civilization ; and of the smaller rivers, which 
are interesting in other ways. 

1 might have dwelt at length upon the surpassing beauty of 
the state's landscape, whose ten thousand lakes are bordered by a 
superb growth of primeval forest timber, through whose foliage 
the pure air of a wholesome climate sings a ceaseless lullaby to 
exhausted humanity, which seeks quiet and rest upon their bosom. 
In these lakes the finny tribe leap and splash and entice the skill 
of the expert angler, as well as the efiforts of the novice, affording 
the most exquisite enjoyment and the most health-giving and re- 
cuperative recreation that man is blessed with, and whose skill. 
px)d luck, or patience is rewarded by the catch of as good food 
fish as swim. 

And, lastly, I might have said that this great, resourceful and 
^trtile state of ours, at the age of fifty years, contains a population 
<'>f nearly two millions of as intelligent, generous, brave, and at 
^he same time as gentle, industrious, progressive and patriotic 
rcople, as can be found in any state in all this broad land. 






It is recorded, and is probably true, although it does not come 
within the milling experience which it is my privilege to review 
here tonight, that the first mill operated in Minnesota was the 
hand mortar of the Indian aborigines. This make of mill seems to 
have been much on the plan of that described in the Bible, the 
mortar used by Closes in grinding corn and manna in the wilder- 
ness within sight of Canaan. Speaking of Closes and milling, 
you will pardon me, if in passing I call attention to the fact, that 
this great law-giver of Bible record, the first legislator of historic 
repute, exempted the mortar or mill of that day from being taken 
in pawn, because, said he, it would be like taking a man's life to 
lake the mill from which proceeds life's staff. But the hand mor- 
tar of Moses and the red man is no longer used in the flouring 
industry of Minnesota, and its further history we will leave with 
our friends, the apothecaries, who long since secured the monopo- 
ly for the use of this kind of milling machine. 

The next step in the evolution of milling in the Northwest 
\vas the introduction of the hand-mill by the early territorial pio- 
iKcrs. The hand-mill was the prevailing mill in use among the 
•tncient Britons down to the time of the Roman conquest. It is 

'An Address at the Annual Meeting of the Minnesota Historical So- 
*'^-ty. January 21, 1901. The author was aided in the preparation of this 
iMptr by Mr. Frank N. Stacy, who also read it at this meeting. 




Still in use in Minnesota by the wives and daughters and by the 
retail grocers for grinding the family coffee. For a full account 
of the milling industry and process connected with the hand-mill, 
you are respectfully referred to the Daughters of the Revolution 
or to the Minnesota Retail Grocers Association. 

The horse-mill followed the hand-mill. Fifty years ago it 
was not an uncommon sight, on the prairies of Illinois, Iowa and 
southern Minnesota, to see a farmer coming in a distance of ten 
to twenty miles with an ox team and camping around a bonfire 
sometimes two days and a night, dining meantime on parched 
corn, while he waited his turn to get a sack or two of corn ground 
at the one and only horse-mill in that section. For the horse-mill 
we are said to be indebted to the Romans. For an exhaustive ac- 
count of its modern use in Minnesota, you should apply to the 
farmers who grind feed for live stock. 

From the horse-mill there was a broad progressive stride to 
the windmill as a source of power in flour manufacture. Wind 
grist-mills are of great antiquity, and are still operated in Europe. 
The crusaders of the thirteenth century introduced them into 
England, France, Germany, and Holland, borrowing the inven- 
tion from the Saracens. In the seventeenth century wind grist- 
-mills decorated the hills of New England, just as the water mill 
afterward sung in the valleys. An early historian of Minnesota, 
J. W. McClung, speaks of the wind grist-mills at St. Peter and 
Mankato, that at the latter place, in 1868, grinding 160 bushels of 
' wheat daily, which would be equivalent to perhaps thirty barrels 
of flour. In 1876, ^^I'r. A. Simpson, of Owatonna, in a contribu- 
tion to the Northwestern Miller, in answer to an inquiry regard- 
ing wind grist-mills, said : "I have operated a HaUiday power 
mill since 1S67 with satisfactory results. The wind wheel is 6a 
feet in diameter and furnishes 45 horse power. It runs three 
run of buhrs with all necessary machinery in a common gale. The 
wheels are perfectly self-regulating and durable. I have ground 
in one month 3,540 bushels of wheat and over 1,200 bushels of 
feed. As good flour can be made with wind power as with any 
power and as much per bushel. The mill runs about three-fourths 
of the time during the year, part of the time running one run of 
feed. There are seven 60-foot wind wheel flouring mills in this 
state, two in Wisconsin, one in Nebraska, and several more with 
smaller wheels, all doing a good business." 



This description is doubtless news to most of the milling pro- 
fession of Minnesota, as well as to many of our pioneer citizens. 
The writer talked as though he might be an agent for the Halli- 
day mills, and before his words are accepted as verified history 
it might be well to have the subject of wind-grist mills investigat- 
ed by a joint committee of eloquent members of the legislature 
now in session. 

Nature laid the foundation for the milling industry of ^lin- 
ncsota when she filled the soil and atmosphere of this chief wheat 
belt on the globe with such a remarkable quality and quantity of 
foo<:l nutrition, and laid through the woods and across the prairies 
such a cordon of strong and reliable streams, carrying power to 
cheaply and efficiently convert the wheat of the Northwest into 
Hour. After that, it was simply a matter of human energ\' and 
method; the ultimate result w^as assured. In 1899 Minnesota 
raised the largest wheat crop ever produced by this or any other 
state, and the largest mill-power ever got together in one state 
converted it, with half the crop of the Dakotas thrown in, into 
25,000,000 barrels of flour, — enough to feed one-third of the peo- 
ple of the United States one year. 


It is interesting to note that the first flour mill built in Min- 
nesota was owned and run by the government, and that the first 
wheat raised was planted and harvested by the government. One 
of the first acts of Col. Snelling on taking possession of the fort 
named after him w^as to send a detachment of fifteen soldiers to 
St. Anthony falls to build a mill. Commissary Clark, father of 
Mrs. Charlotte O. Van Cleve, who is still a resident of Minneapo- 
lis, was the first to suggest the raising of wheat and flour to sup- 
T'ort the soldiers. That w^as the beginning of Minnesota's wheat 
and flour industries. 

At the annual meeting of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
twenty-one years ago this month, there was exhibited a letter, 
dated Washington, D. C, August 23, 1823, from General George 
Cibson, commissary general, as follows: 

From a letter addressed by Col. Snelling to the quartermaster general, 
<^j^ed the 2nd of April, I learned that a large quantity of wheat would be 
'•«i'cd this summer. The assistant commissary of subsistence at St Lou'S 

been instructed to forward sickles and a pair of millstones to St. Peter's 



If any flour is manufactured from the wheat raised, be pleased to let me 
know as early as practicable, that I may deduct the quantity manufactured 
at the post from the quantity advertised to be contracted for. 
In a second letter General Gibson said : 
Below you v/ill find the amount charged on the books against the gar- 
rison at Fort St. Anthony for certain articles, forwarded for the use of the 
troops at the post, which you will deduct from the payments to be made 
for flour raised, and turned over to your free issue: 

One pair buhr stones $250.11 

337 pounds plaster of Paris 20.22 

Two dozen sickles 18.00 

Total $288.33 

Such was the infantile milling plant and harvesting outfit 
with which the grain and milling industries of Minnesota saw 
daylight and a cradle. That was seventy-eight years ago, back in 
the infancy of the oldest pioneer members of this society. 


It was not until about a quarter of a century later, that the 
first grist mills were built for the accommodation of the general 
population. The wheat industry and the milling industry prop- 
erly may be said to cover a half century. The United States 
census of 1850 credits Minnesota with a wheat product of 1,401 
bushels, and a flour product valued at just $500. In the fifty years 
history of our cereal industries, therefore, the wheat product has 
grown from 1,400 bushels to near 70,000,000, and the value of the 
flour output from $500 to about $100,000,000. 

Excepting the government mill, the earliest flouring mill in 
Minnesota was built by Lemuel Bolles in Afton, Washington 
county, in the winter of 1845-6, as noted in Folsom's "Fifty 
Years in the Northwest." A grist mill had been built in Little 
Canada, Ramsey county, by Benjamin Gervais in 1844. 

From 1850 to '55 small grist mills were planted on the 
streams of about a dozen counties of the territory. The river 
counties, Houston, Winona, Wabasha, Dakota, Washington, Chi- 
sago, Hennepin, Sherburne, and Stearns, were the first to build 
mills. Chatfield and Rochester had each a mill in 1855, and 
Northfield and Preston in 1856. E. P. Mills & Sons of Elk Riv- 
er, Sherburne county, place the date of construction of the little 
30-barrel mill by the famous pioneer, Ard Godfrey, at that place, 




in 185 1. It was in 185 1, also, that the first grist and merchant 
nnill was erected at St. Anthony Falls, in East Minneapolis. It 
was built by Richard Rogers, between First and Second avenues 
southeast, and began business on May i, 1851, as a grist mill with 
an equipment of one run of stone, all told, to grind corn. In 1852, 
Franklin Steele became partner in the enterprise, and the growth 
in the firm and capital was celebrated by the addition of a second 
run of stone to grind wheat as a merchant mill. This pioneer 
mill survived until the fire of 1857. 


Merchant milling in ^linneapolis made its first substantial 
beginning in 1854, when Eastman, Rollins and Upton erected on 
the lower end of Hennepin island a five-run mill, 40 by 60 feet, at 
a cost of $16,000. That it was a profitable enterprise, is shown 
by the fact that the firm realized $24,000 profit the first year. This 
mill was famous for the title, "The Minnesota,'' and it well 
earned its name. There was not wheat enough tiibutary to Min- 
neapolis within the state in those days to supply the mill, and 
wheat was hauled by wagon 100 miles from Wisconsin, or was 
brought up the river by boat from Iowa. 

"The Minnesota" was the first mill to ship Minnesota flour 
to eastern markets. This it did in 1858, paying $2.25 per barrel 
freight, which is over five times the present transportation rate 
and is three-fifths of the present value of the flour itself. 


New Ulm, the home of ex-Governor John Lind, lays claim 
to being the first town to incorporate a milling company under 
the laws and constitution of the state. Its articles of incorpor- 
ation read: ''Recorded in Vol. i, pages i, 2 and 3 of Incorpor- 
ations.*' The firm name was the Globe Milling Company of New 
t'im. The incorporators were the German Land Association. 
The purpose of the milling company was stated to be : "The bus- 
iness and object of this company is to manufacture lumber and 
flour. The capital stock of the company is $30,000; the number 
of shares, 1,500. The capital stock actually paid in is $265." The 
mill, which had a daily capacity of fifty barrels, was already con- 
structed and in operation when Minnesota entered the Union as a 



State. It was operated until the Sioux outbreak in August, 1862. 
At that time Xcw Ulm had three mills : The Eagle, erected as a 
sawmill in 1856; the Globe, erected in 1857-8; and the Windmill, 
with "one set of buhrs for flour, and one run of stones for flax- 
seed," in 1859. All were burned to the ground in the Sioux at- 
tack of August 23, 1862. The Indians began firing the town to 
windward early in the day, burning 190 houses, including the 
Globe and Eagle mills. The Windmill, which held a strategic 
position at the foot of the range of hills, was used by the white 
riflemen as an outpost, during several hours of the fight, but fin- 
ally succumbed to the flames. 

The Eagle mill was rebuilt after the war and converted into 
a 4-run flour mill in 1867; again into a 225-barrel roller in 1881 ; 
and finally was enlarged by the present Eagle Roller Mill Com- 
pany into a 1,200-barrel mill, being one of the best country mills 
in the state. As an outgrowth of the Globe Milling Company, 
the New Ulm Roller Mill Company, with Benjamin Stockman, 
president, and the veteran Charles L. Roos, secretary and treas- 
urer, operates two mills of an aggregate capacity of 700 barrels. 
New Ulm has retained its early precedence as a milling town, and 
today boasts an annual output of 400,000 barrels of high grade 
flour. Brown county today runs eight flouring mills, with a total 
daily capacity of 3,500 barrels. 


Two years before the incorporation of the Globe Mill Com- 
pany at New Ulm, John W. North founded a mill and a town at 
Northfield. Jesse Ames & Sons bought the mill in 1864, building 
a new mill in 1869-70. The Ames mill was known as one of the 
most successful in southern Minnesota. Unlike the New Ulm 
mills, the Northfield mill did not have to contend with the Indians 
and fire ; but it did have to fight the Grangers and water. 

So impressed were the Grangers of Rice county with the suc- 
cess of the Ames mill, that they organized a company of well-to- 
do farmers and built another just a mile down the stream, start- 
ing up their mill in the winter of 1873-4. Spring opened with 
war. The Grange mill backed its water upon the Ames dam, and 
the Ames mill employed its tail race as a weapon of war to no 
avail. The result was a battle of lawsuits and newspaper articles, 




which led to flowery eloquence, but not to profits in flour. It was 
nt that time that Capt. John T. Ames achieved great celebrity, not 
only as a miller, but as a brilliant writer of Philippic invective. 
He ahvays maintained that the Ames mill made larger profits and 
paid less for wheat after the Grange mill came into the field, than 


On the Cannon river, only three miles from the Ames mill, 
was the mill of the famous Archibald, the Scotchman who made 
Cannon river celebrated in eastern markets long before Pillsbury 
added fame to the upper Mississippi. Long before the new mill- 
ing process was introduced in 1871, Minneapolis millers used to 
make trips to Dundas and peek into Archibald's mill, to see if they 
could fathom the secret of Archibald's flour beating Minneapolis 
flour $1 or more per barrel in the New York and Boston markets. 
Charles A. Pillsbury had an idea that the difference in the flour 
was due to the quality of the wheat. So he managed one day to 
put in his pocket a handful of the Ames and Archibald wheat; 
but when he got home he found the Cannon valley wheat no better 
than that in his own hoppers. 

The difference was, that x\rchibald was his own scientific and 
practical miller. He dressed his stones with greater care, did bet- 
ter bolting, and used less pressure, and more even, in grinding, 
so that a whiter and purer flour was produced. He was also pro- 
gressive, being among the first to use the new middlings purifier 
in 1871 and the roller process in 1880. A staff correspondent of 
the Northzvestern Miller, March 24, 1876, then published at La 
Crosse, spoke of Archibald as "the man or firm who takes the 
leading place among the flour makers of this country or of the 


As a boy, in 1859, ^ drove over from Janes ville, Wisconsin, 
to St. Paul, and I still distinctly remember stopping at the famous 
Gardner mill at Hastings, on my trip both ways. This was not 
only one of the earliest, but one of the best mills of Minnesota. 
Scientific milling resulted in unusual prices and large profits for 




the Hastings flour, because of its fame in eastern markets, at a 
time when Minneapolis flour yielded neither fame nor profit. The 
benefits of the middlings purifier process and high grinding with 
reduced speed and pressure, which were introduced in Minneap- 
olis in 1871, were in great measure anticipated in the Hastings pro- 
cess of years before. By reducing the pressure and increasing 
the number of grindings, the Hastings mill avoided the undue 
heat which injured both the color and quality of the flour; and by 
special pains with both stone-dressing and bolting, the Gardner 
mill turned out a product which sold in the east at one to two dol- 
lars per barrel higher than the Minneapolis, the Wisconsin, or the 
best Illinois flour. 

It is said that the Gardner mill, by its exceptional quality of 
flour, in the earlier days realized a profit as high as S3 per bar- 
rel, which beats all other records for profitable milling in the 
Northwest. The average mill of today is well satisfied with a 
net profit of ten cents. Successful milling in Hastings is by no 
means at an end. Only the other day Hastings exported to Europe 
a cargo of fifty cars of flour to fill a single contract. 

"honest john" keakciier. 

The ups and downs of milling are well illustrated in the his- 
tory of John Kearcher, the miller of Isinours on the Root river. 
The miller is a prey to more of the ills of business life, by fire, 
by flood, by drouth, by storm, by panic, and by patent sharks, than 
perhaps any other business man. John Kearcher's career is in 
point. Born in 183 1, in Alsace, then a province of France, he 
lived successively in Canada, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. He 
came to Preston, Fillmore county, in 1855, and put up a mill 
which ran with success until the financial crash of 1857. He lost 
-the mill, and afterward regained it, to lose it again. He then ran 
mills at Chatfield, Hampton, Fillmore, and Troy, and succumbed 
to fire, flood, and misfortune, until he landed on his back on the 
South branch of the Root river, with a debt of $30,000 and no as- 
sets except lost faith and confidence in every quarter. He then 
swore that he would live to pay up every dollar of debt and build 
one of the finest milling enterprises in the state. He managed to 
build a little mill with one four-foot stone and a two-foot pony and 
called it ''Clear Grit." And **Clear Grit" won. Inside of ten years 



ir prcw into a large modern structure of fourteen run of stone, one 
nf the largest in southern Minnesota, and marketed loo barrels 
cf more daily of high-grade flour in the Chicago and Albany 
markets. ''Honest John," as he was known to the trade, earned 
the unusual editorial tribute from a well-known milling journal, 
in 1877, of being ''the maker of probably the best straight spring 
Hour now manufactured in the United States, if not: in the world." 


The ups and downs of milling are dramatically pictured in the 
tragic career of the once glorious, but now effete hamlet known as 
Minnetonka Mills, Hennepin county. As early as 1852, Simon 
Stevens, brother of Col. John H. Stevens, the founder of Min- 
neapolis, started up Minnehaha creek to find the famous inland 
sea described by the Indians. He followed the creek until he 
came to lake }vIinnetonka, the sea in question. On the way he 
noted the rapids at the present site of Minnetonka i^Iills, and the 
next year he located a claim and built a mill which lived three 
years. In i860, T. H. Perkins erected on the same site a three- 
and-one-half story mill, which afterward fell to the present con- 
gressman from Minneapolis, Hon. Loren Fletcher, and his part- 
ner, C. M. Loring. On Oct. 20. 1874, they organized the Minne- 
tonka Mills Company. They doubled the size of the mill, put in 
four run of stone and nine double rolls, turned out 300 barrels of 
t\ouv daily, which found a ready market in Boston, New York, 
and Europe, and then sold the plant to two Canadian capitalists 
for the round sum of $95,000. 

The mill wheels at Minnetonka Mills never turned again. 
First, the new partners had their partnership tangle to settle. 
Then, the propertv owners at lake ^tinnetonka brought suits with- 
'Hit end against the county for damage to property by reason of 
'he dam raising the water level, and the county in turn laid violent 
hands upon the dam. Next came the owners of damaged property 
along Minnehaha creek. The result was fifteen years of lawsuits 
a cost of $30,000 to Hennepin county taxpayers, and death and 
''ecay to the once blooming hamlet of Minnetonka Mills. 


The first report of the Minnesota commissioner of statistics, 




Joseph A. Wheelock, on page 121, reviewing the flour industry 
of Minnesota for 1859-60, says: 

Two years ago Minnesota imported flour to supply the deficiencies in 
her owri product. She has now probably 140 grist mills, 122 being the sum 
of those actually reported to this office. Some of these mills are very 
large and fine, and the quality of flour produced rivals the best eastern 

This earliest estimate of the statistics of Minnesota milling 
was apparently too large; for in the following year's report de- 
tailed figures, quoted from the government census, are given, 
placing the number of flour mills at 85, instead of 140. Of the 85 
mills, 63 were run by water, and 22 by steam. The wheat ground 
amounted to 1.273,509 bushels, and the flour produced reached 
254,702 barrels. The value of the entire rpill product was $1,310.- 
431, as compared with $500 in 1850. The 1861 report estimated 
the daily output at ^linneapolis to be 4,000 barrels, which is about 
one-third of the present output of the "Pillsbury A" mill. 

The leading states in volume of flour production in i860 were 
in order, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Virginia. 
The largest mill, 300,000 barrels per annum, was in Oswego, New 
York; the next two, 190,000 and 160,000, respectively, were in 
Richmond, \'irginia ; and the fourth, 140,000 barrels, in New 
York city. The value of the annual product of these mills was 
around $1,000,000 each. The so-called big mills of New York 
and Virginia in i860 were about the same in capacity, but greatly 
inferior in mechanical perfection, to the m.ills of such Minnesota 
towns as St. Cloud, }vIankato, New Ulm, Faribault, Northfield, 
Hastings, Red Wing, Wabasha, and Waseca, today. 


By the census of 1870, the 85 Minnesota mills of i860 had 
multiplied to 216, requiring 281 water wheels and 38 steam 
engines, and representing 507 run of stone with a daily capacity 
of 61,314 barrels. The capital invested had grown from $587,000 
in i860 to $2.900,000 ; and the value of the miUing product had in- 
creased from $1,300,000 to over $7,500,000. The output of the 
216 mills represented about a million barrels of flour and half a 
million bushels of corn meal and feed. The milling industry had 
therefore more than trebled in the decade'; although the aggre- 
gate flour output of 1870 is today very nearly equalled by one of 



several Minnesota counties, even outside of Hennepin and St. 
Louis, while either one of two milling companies in Minneapolis 
ground last year five times more flour than the total amount cred- 
ited to the state by the census of 1870. 

The leading milling counties of 1870 by number of mills 
were : Hennepin, fourteen ; Winona, thirteen ; Rice and Good- 
hue, with eight each ; and Houston, Le Sueur, and Stearns, with 
six mills apiece. In value of milling product, there were fourteen 
counties that made a showing of over $100,000: Hennepin, lead- 
ing with $1,125,000; Rice and Winona, following close with about 
$800,000 each ; Goodhue, the fourth, with $600,000 ; then Dakota, 
with close to $400,000; followed by Olmsted and Fillmore, with 
$200,000 to $250,000 each ; and then, in order, Stearns, Le Sueur, 
Mower, Scott, Blue Earth, Meeker, and Houston, with a product 
of $100,000 to $160,000 each. 

Flour manufacturing had not yet obtained a foothold in Du- 
luth or the Red River valley. St. Paul was holding her own with 
a total of two mills and a product valued at $51,748. And speak- 
ing of St. Paul, permit me to say that however sensitive or seem- 
ingly hostile that city may have been as regards her sister town 
up the river in the matter of population figures and real estate 
bargains, St. Paul has never refused to eat Minneapolis flour. The 
fact will go down the corridors of history and stand as a monu- 
ment of self-abnegation and sisterly affection, that for over twen- 
ty-five years the good and devout people of St. Paul, whenever 
they asked blessing upon the morning, noon, or evening meal, in- 
voked the blessing of Providence upon bread made from Min- 
neapolis flour. 


The year 1870 stands as a landmark in the history of milling, 
because that was the year when Edmund N. La Croix of Faribault 
went to Minneapolis and introduced the middlings purifier into 
the "Washburn B" mill, thereby increasing the value of Minne- 
sota flour $1 to $2 per barrel and the value of Alinnesota spring 
wheat ten to forty cents per bushel. 

For nearly three generations American millers had made lit- 
tle advance on the milling system invented by Oliver Evans. Tt 
was he who invented the American automatic mill. He made it 
possible, by the use of the elevator and conveyer and other appli- 


ances, for a bushel of wheat to make the rounds of a two to seven 
story mill without the aid of a human hand from the time the 
grain was dumped by the farmer into the hopper at the platform 
until it reappeared as a barrel or sack of flour. The dusty miller 
might swap stories over the farm wagon, visit the neighboring 
inn, or go-a-fishing, and the old mill and babbling brook would 
pursue the even tenor of their way and grind the grist with bus- 
iness-like precision. From the inventions of Oliver Evans down 
to 1870, about the only improvements were the substitution of 
a French buhr stone for the granite, a silk bolting cloth for wool, 
with some advancement in cleaning the wheat and dressing the 

For a hundred years the ambition of ^\merican millers was 
to emulate the mills of the gods and grind "exceedingly fine," 
and likewise grind all the flour possible at one grinding. The 
mill-stones were set close together and run at as high speed as 
practicable, with the idea of reducing the grain into flour at one 
grinding. This was the fast reduction and low grinding process. 
Middlings, or meal from that part of the berry which lies beneath 
the bran covering and the starchy center, was a thing to be avoid- 
ed ; for the old-fashioned miller did not know what to do with 

It was the mission of the "new process" to make middlings the 
most valuable part of the product. The middlings purifier, with 
its horizontal shaking screen and air blast for cleaning and sep- 
arating the middlings, preserved for re-grinding that which for 
bread-making was by far the best portion of the wheat. Gluten, 
which not only gives bread its rising power or strength, but is 
the most nutritious quality in wheat for sustaining life, lies in the 
hard exterior of ttie kernel just beneath the bran covering, and 
therefore is contained in the middlings. Flour made from tht 
purified middlings, according to the new process system, imme- 
diately commanded in the bread-making markets of the east from 
$1 to $2 per barrel higher than other Minnesota flour. 

The result was a revolution in flour manufacture. Instead 
of making as little middlings as possible, the aim became to make 
as much middlings as possible. To do that, instead of grinding 
as much flour as possible at the first grinding, the aim became to 
grind as little flour as possible at the first grinding. So, instead 
of running the stones at the rate of 250 to 300 revolutions per min- 



ute, they were run at lOO to 150. Instead of being set low or close 
together, they were set high so as to simply crack the berry at the 
first grinding for the liberation of the bran covering. Instead ot 
reducing the kernel to flour' at one grinding, the cracked chop was 
put through two or three grindings. Low and rapid grinding by 
the old process made of hard spring wheat dark and specky flour. 
Pressure and speed generated heat which made dark and pasty 
flour, damaged in both color and quality. The new process re- 
quired more time and labor, but the far higher price repaid the 
extra effort handsomely. 


The effect upon wheat and flour production in the United 
States was marked. The wheat product rose from 287,000,000 
bushels by the census of 1870, or 7.5 bushels per capita, to 459,- 
000,000, or 9.2 per capita, in the census of 1880. Specially not- 
able was the increase in yield in the Northwest, which produced 
hard spring wheat rich in gluten and middlings. ^linnesota 
spring wheat, instead of standing low in the market, because of 
the large amount of dark middlings flour which it carried by the 
old process of milling, at once rose to the top of the market, be- 
cause of the' large proportion o^ fancy middHngs patent which it 
yielded. In the ten-year period of 1870-80, ^linnesota's wheat 
crop rose from 18,000,000 bushels to 34,000,000, nearly doubling, 
and the mills multiplied from 216 to 436. The capital invested in 
Minnesota mills rose from less than $3,000,000 in 1870 to over 
$10,000,000 in 1880. The sum paid by the millers to Minnesota 
fanners for wheat increased from $6,000,000 to $37,000,000, mul- 
tiplying six fold, and the wages paid to mill employees grew from 
5293,000 to $1,371,000; while the value of flour produced rose 
from $7,500,000 to $41,000,000. The newly discovered wealth 
in the production of spring wheat on the prairies of the North- 
west brought to ^Minnesota and the Dakotas a vast pilgrimage, 
and the blossoming of farms, railways, towns, and cities. 


In 1861, Alexander Faribault, founder of the Minnesota town 
named after him, sent to Montreal for Nicholas La Croix to build 
for him a mill. La Croix came, and with him his brother, Ed- 



mund N., and his son Joseph. After building the mill for Fari- 
bault, the La Croixs, in 1866, built at Faribault a mill for them- 
selves. They were educated men, skilled millers and engineers, 
the two brothers being graduates of the "Ecole des Arts and Me- 
tiers" in France. Familiar with French milling and engineering 
works, as well as with French machines and processes, they began 
to experiment, and in 1868 made a draft of the middhngs purifier 
patented in France by Perigault, August 16, i860, and described 
in the French work by Benoit in 1863. They then constructed 
from this draft a machine with which they experimented at their 
Faribault mill during the next two years. But a freshet carried 
away their dam and they gave up their mill, Edmund N. La 
Croix moving to ^.linneapolis in 1870. 

La Croix visited the millers of Minneapolis, and told them 
of the wonderful results which could be obtained from Minne- 
sota spring wheat by his process. Some thought him visionary, 
and others feared he was insane. But George H. Christian, who 
was more of a student and had greater interest in scientific mat- 
ters than most business men, had faith enough in La Croix and 
his project to give him opportunity to put a machine into the ''Big 
Mill," the ''Washburn B," which Christian was then operating. 
La Croix worked on his machine for a good part of a year, and 
with some later modifications it was a success. The machine w^as 
built in Minneapolis at the Minnesota Iron Works, owned by C. 
M. Hardenburgh & Co. It cost only $300, but it increased the 
price of Minneapolis and ^linnesota flour from $1 to $3 per bar- 
rel. The success of the middlings purifier at the "Washburn B" 
soon spread ; and Pillsbury, Archibald, Ames, and other enter- 
prising millers, rapidly got the new machines. 

The fate of the La Croixs is that of many inventors. They 
realized nothing from their study and enterprise. After introduc- 
ing the new milling system into many Minnesota mills, Edmund 
went to Rochester, N. Y., and Nicholas to Milwaukee, where he 
suddenly died in 1874. Edmund followed his brother to the grave 
a week later. Nicholas left a widow, three daughters, and a son 
Joseph, in straitened circumstances. Joseph got together the 
various improvements inaugurated by him.self, his father, and 
uncle, and secured patents, and then interested capital to manu- 
facture the La Croix machines. But meantime the greed of the 




patent sharks had resulted in the formation of a gigantic combin- 
ation, which crushed La Croix and left him bankrupt, with three 
helpless women to provide for. A committee of three, of which 
Henry L. Little, manager of the Pillsbury-Washburn Company, 
and W. C. Edgar, editor and publisher of the Northzvestern Mil- 
ler, are members, is now pushing the cause of raising a subscrip- 
tion from the millers of America to pay the long-standing debt of 
the milling industry of the world to the La Croix family. 

When the purifier combine, twenty years ago, attempted to 
levy upon the millers of America a royalty tribute that would 
have reached millions of dollars, and relied upon the La Croix 
patents in order to perfect a complete monopoly, the La Croix 
family stood by the millers in the fight and refused from the 
combine at one time a one-sixth interest in the proposed monopoly, 
and at another time a gratuity from the combine of $10,000. In 
the face of such loyalty and sacrifice, the millers of America 
should not now fail to stand by the La Croix family in an hour of 


After the middlings purifier, adopted from the French, came 
the iron and porcelain rolls, adopted from the Hungarians. In 
1872, Minnesota millers, who for years had followed the English 
milling system handed down from colonial times, swore by every 
mill invention that was French, and in 1880 they vowed by every- 
thing that was Hungarian. The success of the middlings purifier 
in the Washburn mills caused Geo. H. Christian, the chief oper- 
ator, to look for further novelties. He sent for the latest French 
and German works on milling, and learned of the chilled iron rol- 
lers used in the big mills of Hungary, in lieu of millstones. In 
1874 he had a number of sets of rollers made for the big ^'Wash- 
burn A" mill just built. The experiment succeeded, and when the 
big mill was rebuilt after the explosion of 1878 it was equipped 
with rolls after the Hungarian pattern. Charles A. Pillsburv 
meantime had visited Hungary, and W. D. Gray, representing K. 
P. Allis, had made inventions which he perfected after a study of 
Hungarian milling. American ideas were engrafted, and the best 
principles of French and Hungarian milling were Amcricanizea 
and reconstructed on the Yankee plan of an automatic mill 


The revolution in milling was complete. In 1870, the Wash- 
burn "big mill," the *'B," was only a 600-barrel mill with twelve 
run of stone. The "Washburn x\" of 1878 came out with an 
equipment of 86 sets of rollers, — 48 corrugated iron, 26 smooth 
iron, and 12 porcelain, — through which the wheat, instead of be- 
ing ground at one operation as by the old process, passed six 
times, being gradually reduced by six -different breaks. 
After each break the chop or meal passed through the 
puriliers, of which there were 78, and the bolting reels, of 
which there were 148. The grain was prepared for the rolls by 
58 cleaning machines, which successively removed the dust, the 
chaff, the oats, the cockle, polished the berry, removed the crease 
in the side and the beard at the end, and graded the kernels ac- 
cording to size. The "Washburn A" then had a capacity of 4,000 
barrels daily, which was several times that of the biggest mills of 
the east. Then came the "Pillsbury A," larger still, the largest in 
the world, the first half only having an equipment of 94 sets of 
rollers, 100 middlings purifiers, and 170 reels, with a capacity of 
4,500 barrels. The "Washburn A" today claims a capacity of 
11,000 barrels, and the "Washburn C" over 8,000; while the 
"Pillsbury A" shows 13,000, and the "Pillsbury B" over 7,000, — 
the quartette of the largest hummers in the milling choir of the 

It is interesting from the present point of view to look back 
to 1870, before the day of the first middlings purifier. George H. 
Christian states that, when Judd & Brackett retired in 1867 from 
the so-called "Washburn Big r\Iills," because unable to make them 
pay, men of experience in milling pronounced the 600-barrel mill, 
which was the jumbo of that day, as too large ever to be success- 
ful. Today the cities of St. Cloud, New Ulm, IMankato, and other 
towns that could be named, are operating mills of double that 
size. Duluth's big mill has many times that capacity. The smal- 
lest of the twenty-one mills now operating in ^^linncapolis is as 
large as the Washburn "big mill" of the old milling days; and 
sixteen range from three to twenty times the capacity of the mill 
which thirty years ago was pronounced too large for profitable 

One reason for the increase in capacity is that the change 
from millstones to rolls has largely reduced the amount of power 
and mill-space required for a given output ; but a more important 



"cnson is, that the new system, with its more intricate processes 
511(1 maze of machinery, is more economically run on a large scale. 


The history of ^linnesota milling would not be complete with- 
out reference to the great explosion of 1878, perhaps the greatest 
catastrophe in the history of milling. Cut in a stone tablet on 
the north side of the ''Washburn A" mill are the following words : 





C H A S. K I r^I B A L L. W M. L E S L I S. 




"Labor, wide as earth, 
Has its summit in Heaven." 

This inscription tells the story. It was the largest and best 
'.quipped mill at that time in America. It was 138 by no feet on 
tlie ground, six-and-one-half stories high, and was fitted out with 
42 run of French buhr stone, 100 reels, and 80 purifiers. The 
walls were of solid masonry, and for the first story were six feet 
thick, and built down to the bedrock. The 80 purifiers had small 
f:^rs. but no dust collectors. The mill was full of dust, and the 
m:llers commonly wore sponges for the protection of mouth and 
nose. The walls were blown down to the foundation and fell 

W. D. Gray, a mill expert, who at one time was employed in 
•.^•c. Washburn mills, speaks of previous experiences which the 
J^Hllers had with the explosion of mill-dust. At one time several 
'■i the men had a severe shock from a slight explosion, and at an- 
<"*bi.r time the roof was partially lifted by the explosion in a dust 

In the great explosion of 1878, the fire is supposed to have 


started in some of the machinery before its communication to the 
dust room. There were eighteen lives lost, as partly named above, 
and six mills were wholly destroyed, as follows : Washburn A, 42 
run ; Diamond, 6 run ; Humboldt, 8 run ; Zenith, 6 run ; Galaxy, 
12 run; and Pettit-Robinson, 15 run; total, 99 run of stone. They 
were all promptly rebuilt with purifiers and buhr stones, not wait- 
ing for rolls, which at that time were being experimentally intro- 
duced. Property was damaged bv the explosion in cases nearly 
a mile away, and the total loss exceeded a million dollars. 

Governor C. C. Washburn, at the time, was building a new 
mill near the others. On the morning after the explosion he paced 
off a distance beyond the foundation as planned, and, driving a 
stake at the point to which he paced, said to the architect : "Build 
your mill out to here and it was done. The hastily added space, 
however, gave the new "Washburn C" more room than it could 
economically utilize until 1899. 


In 1858, the year Minnesota became a state, the people of this 
great wheat and flour producing commonwealth, according to the 
authority of both Joseph A.Wheelock and Ignatius Donnelly, were 
compelled to import a considerable portion of their flour. Horace 
Greeley, in a letter to J. W. McClung in 1858, confessed that his 
' earliest impression of Minnesota was unfavorable, on the follow- 
ing ground : 'T saw that your state imported not only loafers in 
gieat abundance, but the bread they ate as well as the whisky they 
drank; and I did not see how she could stand it (you must pardon 
my weakness) in the defection of home industry." The state 
statistician, Joseph A. Wheelock, found in 1859, however, that v/e 
were beginning to export flour. He discovered that we shipped 
out by way of La Crosse and Prairie du Chien, for example, 403 
bales of buffalo robes, 100 bales of furs, 343 bushels of cranber- 
ries, 70,218 pounds of ginseng, and the grand total of 114 barrels 
of flour. Such was the first ripple of the tidal wave to follow. 

From i860 to 1870 Minnesota shipments of flour to eastern 
markets gradually increased until they reached several hundred 
thousand barrels. Among the leaders in this eastward business 
were Archibald of Dundas and Gardner of Hastings, the "Vermil- 
lion flour" of the latter being a much celebrated brand. It was 



n n until 1878, however, that Minneapolis began to send direct 
exports abroad, independently of the New York and Boston mid- 
d'cmen. The delay and cost incident to shipment through the 
hands of eastern agents at length could not be borne, and Gov. 
C. C Washburn got the well-known milling and elevator man, 
W, H. Dunwoody, to spend several months abroad and secure 
iiirect relations with European buyers. There was great opposi- 
tion among New York middlemen for a time; but the enterprise 
was a complete success. 

Direct exports from Minneapolis to foreign ports began in 
iS/S with 107,183 barrels. In five years the figure was multiplied 
ten times. For a period of years our direct export trade was stable, 
but comparatively stationary, and then after 1890 it again ad- 
vanced. In 1890 our direct exports were 2,000,000 barrels, and in 
i^i 3,000,000 was reached. In 1899 Minneapolis topped 4,000,- 
000 barrels as the direct export to foreign markets ; and in 1900 
it was 4,702,485, being one-fourth of the total exports of flour 
from the United States. Next to Minneapolis as a direct exporter 
stands Duluth, which in 1898 reached close to 1,000,000 barrels. 

The principal foreign consumer of Minneapolis flour is the 
United Kingdom. During the ten months ending with October 
!n5t, there were exported from the United States to foreign mark- 
^■ts, all told, something over 15,000,000 barrels of flour; but over barrels, or more than one-half, went to the United King- 
dom. Next after Great Britain, the best consumer of American 
t^'^ur is the West Indies : and then follow, in order, Hong Kong^ 
P'razil, and Germany. Oregon and other Pacific coast mills prin- 
cipally supply the Hong Kong and other Oriental trade, and the 
mills of our more southerly and easterly states have paid more 
attention than Minnesota to the West India and South American 
trade. Great Britain and the European continent are the principal 
foreign market for Minnesota flour. But geography and 
<iifferences of language and customs are no obstacles to the 
Minnesota miller. He obliterates time, distance, and nationality, 
>f there is a mouth on the globe that can eat bread; and Minne- 
^ta flour is the most cosmopoHtan thing on the earth today. It 
eaten by the German and the Jap, the Englishman and the Boer. 
fi:ocs to the Arctic and the tropic zones, and conquers all com- 
f»^iitors, colors, and climes. 

Minnesota flour shipments are a large factor in the business 



of the Soo canal ; and the traffic of that great inland channel 
marks in a way the progress of Minnesota flour sales in eastern 
and foreign markets. In 1871, when the new milling process was 
just beginning to see day in Minneapolis, the flour shipments of 
the Soo canal were only 26,000 barrels. In 1881 the Soo canal 
flour shipments had multiplied twenty-fold and were 600,000 bar- 
rels. By 1 89 1 nearly 4,000,000 barrels were reached ; and for the 
year just closed the total will reach 8,000,000. Today over 90 per 
cent, of the flour ground in Minnesota is eaten by eastern states 
and foreign nations, and of the Minneapolis product over 97 per 
cent, is shipped away, the shipments of the year just closed reach- 
ing 14,800,000 barrels, of which one-third is eaten abroad and the 
balance in the eastern states. 


The census of 1890 gave Minnesota 307 flour and grist mills, 
employing 4,038 hands at $2,243,855 wages, and paying out $52,- 
383,857 for grain, while turning out $60,158,088 worth of flour. 

There are in Minnesota in 190 1 about 400 flour and grist mills. 
The capacity of twenty-one mills at Minneapolis exceeds 75,000 
barrels daily, and they grind annually 70,000,000 bushels of wheat 
into 15,000,000 barrels of flour. The state gazetteer enumerates 
about 200 ^Minnesota mills, outside of Minneapolis and Duluth, 
with an aggregate daily capacity of over 42,000 barrels, and 180 
others whose capacity is not given. Placing the capacity of this 
180 conservatively at 20,000 barrels, we arrive at about 140,000 
barrels daily as the milling capacity of the state. It is fair there- 
fore to state that Minnesota mills consume from 110,000,000 to 
120.000,000 bushels of grain per annum, and turn out upwards 
of 25,000.000 barrels of flour a year, which is enough to sustain 
one-third of the nation. 

The ten largest milling centers in America today, as meas- 
ured by their flour output in 1899, are as follows: Detroit, 594,- 
700 barrels; Nashville, 630,803; Buffalo, 1,068,944; Kansas City, 
1,094.846; Chicago, 1.125,745; Toledo, 1,150,000; St. Louis, i,- 
166,439 ;Milwaukee, 1, 737,826; Duluth-Superior, 1,763,920; Min- 
neapolis, 14,291,780. It is gratifying that Minnesota contains 
within her boundaries the two largest milling centers in the Union, 



and that one of them grinds more flour in a year than all the 
other nine put together and 4,000,000 barrels added. 
, In conclusion, permit me to say that at the World's Exposition 
at Paris during the past year, bread made from Minnesota flour 
carried off the prize medal for the best bread in the world, and 
lliat Minnesota flour likewise took the first premium in the con- 
test for the best flour in the world, showing that Minnesota holds 
tne world's sweepstakes both for the quantity and quality of pro- 
duct. , 

V'or,. X. I'f.ATK II. 




Well founded tradition gives to George Washington, the first 
President of the Republic, the credit of devising the plan for the 
survey of lands which for nearly a century has been applied to 
the survey of the public domain of the United States. 

This plan or system ^f surveys has as its unit the square acre ; 
then the section, a m.ile square, 640 square acres ; then the town- 
ship, six miles square, containing 36 square sections. The town- 
ships lying between two consecutive meridians six miles apart 
constitute a range, and the ranges are numbered from principal 
meridians both east and west. In each range the townships are 
numbered both north and south from the principal east and west 
base line. 

For obvious reasons the author of this plan or system of land 
surveys did not have the occasion for putting the same into prac- 
tical operation, since each of the thirteen colonies had adopted 
Systems of surveys of the lands granted them by Great Britain, 
^^hich could not readily be conformed to this system. It was in- 
'*uj^urated and carried out in the survey of lands which have come 
»nio the possession of the general government after the adoption 
'•t the constitution, known grenerallv as Government Lands, some- 
^'ii'Cs as Public Lands, or as the General Domain. 

•Kead at the monthly meeting of the Executive Council, December 11, 1899. 




This plan of surveys was to some extent inaugurated in 1803 
by Col. Jared ^lansfield, then surveyor general of the Northwest 
Territory ; and was subsequently enacted as a law, in 1804, upon 
the recommendation of President Jefiferson. 

The more general feature of this plan of surveys of the public 
domain, thus devised and covered by the enactment of Congress, 
provides for the establishment of principal meridians, extended 
north and south from an east and west base line. These are num- 
bered from the east to the west, as the first, second, third, fourth, 
and fifth principal meridians ; and the lands in Minnesota lying 
west of the ]\rississippi river are all described as west of the fifth 
principal meridian. 

These principal meridians were established in the beginning, 
in the successive "land districts," over each of which was appoint- 
ed a surveyor general, who controlled the surveys in his district, 
subject to such rules, regulations, and directions, as should be 
given him from time to time by the commissioner of the General 
Land Office at Washington. Hence the first principal meridian 
was the most easterly, in the first surveyor general's land district 
designated by the general government. 

It is not, perhaps, strictly germane to the special subject to be 
presented in this paper, that I should enter into a more particular 
description of these principal meridians, and the points upon the 
east and west base lines from which they were respectively run and 
established. I have in this paper to deal mainly with the govern- 
ment survey of public lands in Minnesota lying west of the Miss- 
issippi river, which, as I have already stated, were and are de- 
scribed as west of the fifth principal meridian. 

That a clearer understanding of these surveys may be given, 
it should be stated that the east and west base line from which 
the townships in Missouri, Iowa, and Minnesota west of the river, 
are numbered, passes nearly through the center of the State of 
Arkansas. The townships in the first tier on the north side of 
that line are designated as numbered one north, and each town- 
ship in the first tier south of that line is designated and described 
as township number one south, — counting north and south from 
this base line. 

This will answer and explain the oft repeated inquiry, what 
this word 7iorth means in describing townships in Minnesota. 
When, in describing land, after giving the number of the section, 



we say, for instance, in township number 120 north, we mean it 
is that number north, counting from the east and west base line 
I have referred to. 

We also say such or such a range number west, meaning 
west of the fifth principal meridian. 

The number of townships from the base line in central 
Arkansas up through Missouri and Iowa to the south boundary 
line of Minnesota is 100; so that the north tier of townships in 
Iowa next to the state line is Mumbered 100, and the south tier 
of townships in Minnesota north of and next to the boundary 
line is numbered loi, the next 102, and so on. 

The government surveys of public lands in Minnesota lying 
east of the Mississippi river have as their east and west base line 
ihe south boundary of the state of Wisconsin, or, to speak mort 
accurately, the boundary line between the states of Illinois and 
Wisconsin. Therefore the numbering of the townships of the 
public surveys of lands in Minnesota lying east of the Mississippi 
river is entirely dififerent from the numbering of townships west 
of the river. Most of the government surveys of land in Min- 
nesota lying east of the Mississippi river were completed very 
early, and before the surveys of lands west of the river were 

The two systems of surveys have no connection, except that 
in the northern part of our state there are lands, east of the river, 
which are described as being west of the fifth principal meridian. 


Very early in the history of the surveys of the public lands 
of this country, a difficulty arose because of what is now generally 
called "the convergency of meridians.'* It was found by actual 
measurement (which should have been known without) that these 
principal meridians, starting from points on an east and west base 
line and running therefrom on a true north course to their inter- 
action with the Great Lakes, were, at such northern intersection, 
nearer one another than at the points where they started from the 
t'asc line. The effect of this convergency of the principal merid- 
i'Tns was to fractionalize the sections and townships in northern 
Ohio. Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin, so that in those 
part; of these states the government surveys produced townships 



six miles in length north and south, and less than two miles in 
width east and west, and sections a mile in length, north and 
south, by a few rods wide east and west, thus destroying the unit, 
the square acre, the section a mile square (640 acres), and the 
township six miles square, of thirty-six sections. It should be 
stated that this same serious effect is manifest in the surveys of 
the public lands in northern Iowa, the northern boundary of which 
is six hundred miles north of the base Hne in Arkansas. 

An attempt to remedy this difficulty by running a series of 
east and west correction lines , parallel to the base lines, only cor- 
rected the difficulty to a limited extent. 

In "1850 this whole matter was referred to a commission of 
intelligent scientific men, with Prof. Edward D. Mansfield of 
Cincinnati, Ohio, as chairman, who made a report to the com- 
missioner of the General Land Office, which report was approved 
and adopted by that department and made the basis of instruction 
to the surveyor generals in the survey of the public domain there- 


The change in the public surveys, as recommended by Mans- 
field and adopted by the government, was substantially as follows : 
That what should be known as ''guide meridians" should be run 
north from an established east and west base line forty-two miles 
apart, ofifsettmg a quarter of a mile at every twenty-four mile sta- 
tion on such guide meridian to provide against convergency. 
These guide meridians were to be intersected by what should be 
known as ''standard parallels," east and west lines twenty-four 
miles apart, thus dividing the pubUc lands into what were to be 
known and are known as cheques, measuring forty-two miles east 
and west by twenty-four miles north and south, with twenty-eight 
square townships in every cheque, except those made fractional 
and smaller by bordering on some great natural boundary, as, for 
instance, the ?^Iississippi river. 

The greatest care was to be observed in running the guide 
meridians and standard parallels. They could only be run with 
an astronomical instrument known as a solar compass, one of the 
most perfect and useful instruments ever invented for running 



lines. Having adjusted its latitude and declination arcs, a line as 
perfect as the movement of the sun can be run with it; and tlie 
exact variation of the magnetic needle at any place is readily de- 
termined by it, as well as exact time. 

Two sets of assistants, compassmen, chainmen, axemen and 
markers, were to be employed at the same time in the running of 
these lines, so as to guard against possible error.' The variation 
of the needle, as shown by the solar compass, was to be carefully 
noted every quarter of a mile, or oftener if necessary, as a guide 
to the surveyors who should come after to run the township and 
section Hues. 

This new system for conducting the surveys of the public 
lands by the government was first inaugurated in the State of 
California in the autumn of 1852, and next in Minnesota west of 
the Mississippi river, early in the spring of 1853. 


As I had, to some extent, personal supervision and charge 
of that work in ^linnesota in 1853, 1854, and 1855, I may be 
pardoned if hereafter in this paper it seems necessary to make 
some few references of a personal nature. 

Minnesota at that time was included, with Iowa and Wis- 
consin, in a surveyor general's district. The office of the surveyor 
general was at Dubuque, Iowa. Hon. Warner Lewis was sur- 
veyor general. The boundary line between Iowa and Minnesota 
was run and established by Capt. Andrew Talcott of the Topo- 
graphical Bureau in 1852, the next year after the Indian title to 
lands in southern Minnesota was extinguished by treaty. It was 
currently reported that Captain Talcottt, in running this bound- 
ary line, had with him as assistants and other employees about 
three hundred men. The work was not done under contract. I 
traversed that line from the river west a hundred and fifty miles, 
early in 1853. The travel of Talcott's company over the line 
made it like a highway then, and there were strewed along it 
abundant evidences that at times, at least, great hilarity must 
iiave prevailed among the men under his command. 

It is but just that I should state that the preliminary line of 
tins boundary was run by Captain Marsh of Dubuque with a solar 



compass; and it was not changed a particle by Captain Talcott 
and his assistants, but was verified by them after making the most 
thorough scientific tests thereof. 

In January, 1853, tHe surveyor general, Warner Lev/is, gave 
a contract to EHsha S. Norris to run the first, second, and third 
guide meridians in Minnesota, west of the Mississippi river, and 
the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh standard 
parallels. The work was to be paid for by the government, ten 
dollars per mile for running and establishing the guide meridians, 
and eight dollars per mile for standard parallels. Mr. Norris had 
been state surveyor of Maine, and he stood high as an engineer 
and surveyor. He had for some years been a deputy surveyor of 
the surveyor general's office at Dubuque; he had made a careful 
study of the new plan of prosecuting government surveys which 
had been devised and suggested by Alansfield ; and, because of 
this, had been selected to introduce this new system in the new 
Territory of ^linnesota. ]Mr. Norris had been my preceptor, and 
I came with him into ^linnesota as one of his assistants in this 

In the beginning of this work, in the remote southeast corner 
of the then Territory, Mr. Norris had the misfortune to get his 
solar compass out of adjustment in passing through a dense 
thicket, slightly bending both the declination and latitude arcs. 
He did not discover it until the inspector of surveys, who was 
following closely on the line with a solar compass and chainmen, 
called his attention to it and at once reported the blunder to the 
surveyor general's office. Mr. Norris was recalled. A great 
clamor, born of envy and jealousy on the part of the other dep- 
uty surveyors of the office, compelled Gen. Lewis reluctantly to 
relieve him, and, because of his desire to make the matter as agree- 
able as possible to }Jr. Norris, and because of the well known 
partiality of the surveyor general for myself, together with po- 
litical influence to a certain extent from friends (we were all 
simon-pure Democrats then), the supervision of these surveys 
w^as given to me. then in my seventeenth year, and I established 
these guide meridians and standard parallels in the years 1853 
to 1855. 

The first line established was not a guide meridi'Au, strictly, 
but rather a line beginning on the state line, on the east side of 
range four, running north thereon till it intersected the I^Iissis- 



s'.ppi river at or near where the city of La Crescent is now sit- 

After completing this Hne, we returned and went west on the 
>tatc line forty-two miles to a point between ranges ten and eleven, 
and thence ran the first guide meridian north between these ranges, 
making the required offsets every twenty-four miles. This meridian 
intersects the ^Mississippi river at the foot of lake Pepin, just a lit- 
tle above Read's Landing. Returning on this guide meridian to the 
^tnte line, we measured west thereon forty-two miles to a point 
bi'tween ranges seventeen and eighteen, from whence the second 
nu-ridian was run north betv/een these ranges, making the re- 
quired offsets, till it intersected the Mississippi river close above 
the city of Hastings. Returning again to the state line, v.-e once 
more measured west thereon forty-two miles to a point between 
ranges 24 and 25, where the south point of the third guide merid- 
ian was established ; and thence we ran it north between these 
ranges to its intersection with the Mississippi river near ]\Ionti- 
cello. The third guide meridian passes through the "Big Woods," 
crosses the Minnesota river at Belle Plaine, goes about three miles 
west of lake I\Iinnetonka, and thence crosses the Crow river and 
Pelican lake to its intersection with the Mississippi. 

So careful was the government in the establishment of these 
base lines, that the instructions were modified as to running the 
tliird guide meridian, requiring that it should be run during the 
winter season, after the large number of lakes which were sup- 
[-.'scd to be thereon v/ere frozen solid, so that the chainmen could 
actually measure the line over them, and not trust to mathemat- 
ical calculation from triangulation or other methods of deter- 
r".ining distances across impassable places. I was engaged in estab- 
'^-hing this meridian nearly five months, from some time in No> 
vcmber, 1853, some time in April, 1854. I ran the standard 
larallels intersecting these guide meridians. Afterward I did 
H>mc township and section work, and terminated my connection 
with the surveyor general's office at Dubuque, January i, 1856, 
at which time I came to Winona, where I have ever since resided. 

The plan of the government surveys of the public domain 
''t;vised by ^Lansfield has to a very great extent answered the 
r'Jrposc intended. The sections and townships in :v[innesota, west 
' i the Mississippi river, were not fractionalized by the convergency 
"I meridians; and I am also told that this is true of the survey of 


public lands by the goveniment in California and elsewhere in the 
Union, where from that time this plan has been followed in the 
survey of all public lands held by the government. 

Perhaps it would not be out of place, in closing this paper, 
to make some reference to a few incidents of m^ore or less his- 
toric interest which 1 met with at the time of making these early 
government surveys, and to refer to my acquaintance at that time 
with some of the earhest pioneers of ^Minnesota. 


In running a line some distance southwest of Hastings one 
very bright summer day, we came upon a white sandstone pillar 
on the smooth open prairie. It was quite high and impressed us 
as peculiar, being in that locality without any other similar form- 
ation near it, glistening in the bright sunlight. Some of my com- 
pany clambered up this natural obehsk far enough to find cut in 
the sandstone the name of Nicollet and the date 1837. The gov- 
ernment had furnished me with copies of Nicollet's maps of th^ 
survey he had made in this country, and we examined them and 
found this pillar of white sandstone indicated thereon. That Nicol- 
let had carved his name there in 1837, I have for good reasons 
doubted ; but that he visited and took note of what is now known 
as Castle Rock, there cannot be a shadow of a doubt. 

I want to bear testimony to the wonderful fidelity and ac- 
curacy of this savant and explorer in marking the topography of 
this section of the country as shown in his maps. The main 
streams and water courses of southern Minnesota were m.ost ac- 
curately indicated by him on his topographical maps, copies of 
which I had. 

A somewhat curious and interesting etymological result grew 
out of the name given by the. early French voyageurs, and thence 
by Nicollet, to the water courses, streams, and river, which drain 
the counties of Dodge, Olmsted, and Wabasha, now known 
Zumbro river. The French name was Riviere aux (or des) Em- 
barras, referring to the difficulties (embarassmcnts) of navigatin^^ 
it with canoes. This river, which flows east through Wabasha 
county was named "Des Embarras river" by Nicollet, and this 
was followed by me in the report of the survey of guide meridians 
and standard parallels which crossed this river and its tributaries. 



iiV.i]ce Dcs Embarras was the name given to this river upon all 
:!ic early maps of ^^linnesota. Its Sioux name was Wazi-oju, 
r.'.caning "the pine place/' for the white pine trees which occur 
-{'aringly on its bluffs. When English-speaking people settled 
:!ic lands bordering on this stream, they adopted the French name, 
1 lit found it difficult to give the French pronunciation. After 
many unsuccessful efforts, it finally resulted in the name Zumbro 
for this stream, and its tributaries. 


Before starting out to run the third guide meridian, I was 
advised that if the line passed through or near the place vv'here 
the Winnebago Indians were located, I and my men might have 
trouble, as these Indians were greatly dissatisfied about some- 
thing; and I was assured by the Department that a messenger 
.>liould be sent from Fort Snelling to apprise me of the exact state 
of affairs with the Winnebago Indians, and if there was danger 
1 should abandon the line. No messenger ever came, or, if he 
did come, he failed to find me; so the alarm and fear of my men 
and myself, eighteen in all, can readily be imagined, when we 
rcnched a place on the line where the snow was all tram.ped down, 
unmistakable evidence of human beings in the vicinity. It was 
late in the afternoon and in a dense forest, and, if my recollection 
is right, it was on the Crow river. I set my compass, and my mien 
came up and we stood for a few minutes in consultation, v.hen 
cut from behind a tree near us, came an Indian, gun in hand, 
vvhite blanket on, and otherwise comfortably well dressed. He 
^["'ke to us, saying. "How do you do?" Soon other Indians canie 
out from behind the trees, and then others, in such numbers that 
we were ready to believe, literally, that "the woods were full of 
thvm." They were wonderfully interested in my compass and 
surveying outfit, the chain, the tally pins, etc. They told us, as 
• '--St they could, that, hearing the noise we made coming up 
•hrough the woods, they took us for an attacking party of In> 
dians, but they w^re glad to know we were white men. 

I asked who thev were, and they said, "Winnebagoes," and 
^•'■it Winneshiek, their chief, was farther down. We camped, 
•'5^d. taking one of my men with me and after passing through 
niost awful cordon of yelping dogs, I called on Winneshiek that 


evening. Whether this was a title or a name I knew not, but he 
received us kindly, speaking in fair EngHsh. He complained bit- 
terly of his treatment by the Indian commissioners and other gov- 
ernment officials, who, he said, had either deposed or wanted to 
depose him, and to get another chief to give away his lands. I 
assured him that I had nothing to do with such matters, and 
joined him heartily in his righteous indignation at the manner he 
was being outraged. He not only made us no trouble, but next 
morning, when we passed through on the line, three rods west of 
his tepee, he gave us a large quantity of fine venison for a reason- 
able compensation. I was led to believe that this was a large 
band of Winnebagoes hunting off their reservation. 


In the autumn of 1854, I met at Mendota Captain Tilton and 
Major Reno, who had just completed the survey of a military 
road from Sioux City to Fort Snelling. Major Reno was greatly 
interested in my solar compass, and asked me if he could bring 
around the next day, to see this instrument, Capt. George B. Mc- 
Clellan, w^ho had just come from the west to consult Gov. Isaac I. 
Stevens in regard to the Northern Pacific Railroad surveys. They 
came the following day, and, of course, I "spread myself" in ex- 
plaining the use and merits of the solar compass to these distin- 
guished West Pointers. I recall that Reno said it was a shame 
that this instrument had not been introduced for use in the army 
engineering, and the only reason he could give was, that it had 
not been invented by an army officer. 

While making these surveys, I met a few of the early pio- 
neers, notably General Sibley, who laid me under great .obliga- 
tions for m.uch kindness and consideration, and Joseph R. Brown, 
at whose hospitable home, at Henderson, I was entertained four 
weeks while waiting for instructions. I was greatly impressed 
with Joseph R. Brown in many ways. I recall now quite vividly 
the impression I had then, that he was the smartest man I had 
ever met. 

I also made the acquaintance of Henry M. Rice, Alexander 
Faribault, and Alexis Bailly. I think I met Martin McLeod. I 
met Governor Gorman and many others, all of whom I remem- 
ber most kindly. They all did what they could for me. For some 


yj i^ WI ^^ ' H ^.rT^>.^r^.r.-^- _ ., - 


reason unknown, I had not the good fortune during this time to 
meet the most illustrious of all these, Governor Ramsey. Minne- 
sota was and is greatly indebted to its earliest pioneers. Many 
of them were men of culture and refinement, all of them strong 
men, brave, hospitable, courteous, and kind. What a welcome they 
gave all those who came to make a home in this beautiful land 
and glorious commonwealth! 






The gradual decadence of the gold excitement which drew so 
many thousands to California during the half dozen years suc- 
ceeding the discover}' of gold there in 1848, turned the tide of 
migration toward the west borders of the Mississippi. Long trains 
of west-bound travelers headed for Chicago every morning and 
evening from New York, Philadelphia, and Boston. Chicago was 
the great distributing point. There all stopped to catch their 
breath and take their bearings, and the thirty-year-old city at the 
head of lake ^Michigan seized the business which Chagres had 
snatched during the California boom. She took advantage of 
her opportunity, and also, I fear, of her innocent tenderfoot vic- 
tims. The immense tidal wave was there divided. One branch 
flowed southwest into "bleeding Kansas."' following up Massa- 
chusetts' ^'thirty thousand moral rifles," the war cry being 'Tree- 
dom for Kansas." The other stream swept northwest to the 
region of the *'sky-tinted waters." 

In the spring of 1855, I ^vas caught up in Massachusetts and 
."^wirled along in this mighty movement of restless humanity, but 
not to the land of gold. Chicago, ''the Garden City," was to be 
my Ultima Thule, my firm abiding place, but 

"The best laid schemes o' mice and men 
Gang aft a-gley." 

•Head at the monthly meeting of the Executive Council, February 11, 1901. 




Two months later I was plodding my weary pilgrim wav 
through southern Minnesota, "spying out the land" and weighing 
its future. It seemed to be a beautiful land, just as it came from 
the hand of nature, and any farmer should have been satisfied 
with a hundred and sixty acres of it. But I was told that a hun- 
dred miles or more to the northwest, on the borders of the "Big 
Woods," the soil was still better and the outlook even more allur- 
ing. That promising, if not "promised," land I then and there 
resolved to see before many moons had waxed and waned. The 
trip I was then taking could not be prolonged, on account of work 
awaiting me in ^lilwaukee and Chicago. 

In October I started out on my second Minnesota trip, upon 
which two weeks were spent in explorations to the north, east, 
and south of the Falls of St. Anthony. By that time it was get- 
ting too late for the survey of the Big Woods country, if the job 
was to be a thorough one. 

Fired with zeal for the new land, I went back as far as Mil- 
waukee, and in a few days had the pleasure of hearing my old 
friends, the Hutchinson family, from Milford, N. H., — Judson, 
John, and Asa, — sing to a full house, 

"We've come from the mountains of the old Granite State," 
and other inspiring songs, rendered as only they knew how. After 
the concert, at my invitation they all promised to call on me the 
next day, which they accordingly did. In our pleasant talk they 
unfolded to me their plans for the future. They had started out to 
sing their way through to Kansas, there to found a village, call it 
Hutchinson, make homes for themselves, build up the town, join 
the "Jayhawkers" and squelch the "Border Ruffians." Said I, 
"Why not skip all that blood and poetry, go to Minnesota, the 
most favored country on the earth, and found a city that you will 
always be proud of?" "Have you been there?" they asked. "Yes." 
Then question followed question, like shots from a Gatling gun. 
The answers were satisfactory, and led to the settlement of the 
town of Hutchinson in McLeod county, Minnesota. 

Hither many later immigrants have been attracted, and they 
are now faithfully working shoulder to shoulder with the old tim- 
ers, who have borne the burden and the heat of the day, to make 
this what it certainly bids fair to become, the most charming and 




delightful, the most cozy and truly homelike place in the North- 

The result of the conference was an immediate change of 
plans on the part of the Hutchinsons, who had in so short a time 
lyjcome convinced that their horoscope had not been rightly inter- 
preted. It was agreed that my cousin, Roswell H. Pendergast, 
>hould go along with them, and that I should stay through the 
winter, dispose of my photographing business, and follow on the 
first boat that should go through from Galena to St. Paul in the 
spring of 1856. The objective point was some place in the charm- 
ing region west of the Big Woods, to which allusion has already 
been made. The exact spot was to be fixed upon by the Hutchin- 
i^ons, their advance agent, E. E. Johnson, and R. PI. Pendergast, 
who went with them. 

Having arrived at the little village on the west side of the 
Mississippi adjoining the F'alls of St. Anthony, they were lucky 
enough to fall in with an educated and enterprising young civil 
engineer, by the name of Lewis Harrington, who readily entered 
into the spirit of their plans, and who without hesitation accepted 
an earnest invitation to become a member of the company. Before 
they left this little settlement. Col. John H. Stevens, its father, B. 
E. Messer, an accomplished musician and former singing master, 
John H. Qiubb, a young bachelor from Whitehall, N. Y., Henry 
Chambers, an unnaturalized Canadian, Lucius N. Parker, and 
John Calef, were duly initiated into the fraternity. 

November 16, 1855, the company, with two two-horse teams 
and a week's supplies, sallied forth like Don Quixote, ''in quest 
of adventures." The general plan formulated at Milwaukee had 
been talked over and deliberated upon till it was made more spe- 
cific by fixing upon a favorable location on the Hassan river (now 
cslled the South branch of the Crow river ) northwest of Glencoe 
a> the most desirable place for the new settlement. There was a 
f^ocxl road as far as to Shakopee, which was at that time larger 
than Minneapolis. There the first night was spent. 

November 17. Without waiting for breakfast, so anxious 
were they all to get a glimpse of the town of which they were to 
^t' the fathers, they started out betimes in the morning, and, 
crossing the ferry five miles farther up the Minnesota, reached 


Carver in season for breakfast. From Carver the read, if the 
straggling- path made through the woods by the Glencoe settlers 
earlier in the season could be dignified by such a name, suddenly 
became much worse. Numerous stumps, deep ruts, and deeper 
chuck-holes, mud and fallen trees, opposed their passage. 

Nightfall found them weary and v/ay-v.-orn, with the aspect 
of "the Icnight of the sorrov/ful countenance," their horses jaded, 
and with a bag of game consisting of a brace of ducks, three 
partridges, a solitary rabbit, and a squirrel, on the banks of a 
small stream two or three miles east of the present site of Young 
America, and eleven miles from Carver. By this stream they 
pi-epared to camp for the night. The game was soon skinned, 
dressed, roasted, and disposed of in the most hearty if not the 
most approved style ; and no dinner at the West Hotel, nor even 
at Delmonico's, was ever better enjoyed. 

November i8. At daylight the camp was astir. After a 
"picked up'' breakfast, the tent was struck and the pilgrims were 
moving toward their ]\Iecca. A couple of partridges roasted be- 
fore an improvised fire, with a pound or two of hardtack, served 
for dinner. Buffalo creek was crossed before sunset, Chambers 
going ahead and breaking the ice v/ith his feet. As the water was 
three feet deep and Glencoe five miles away, he unwillingly 
ted that he got but little fun out of this operation. 

Over a smoother way better time was now made, and twilight 
found our explorers on the outmost verge of civilization. Tliey 
would have had to push their way 2,000 miles farther unless they 
changed their course, before reaching another town or meeting a 
-white man. 

Doty's Hotel, a one-story log building "with all the modern 
improvements," offered them a welcome, a shelter and first-class 
accommodations at first-class rates, and there they ensconced 
themselves for the niglit. 

November 19. With A. j. Bell, a Glencoe surveyor, for a 
guide, the line of march was resumed. As the road they had been 
following ended at Glancoe, the scattered groves were the only 
landmarks. They struck the Hassan river at the bend near the 
spot where Philip Busson, the Frenchman, now lives. Here was 
a delightful grove, resplendent with the gorgeous hues of a Min- 
nesota Indian summer. The air was crisp and invigorating. The 
scene was charming, and the party would willingly have taber- 




nacled there. The sky, the earth, the air, the overarching trees, 
tiie shimmering stream, the fertile soil, were so many Circes woo- 
ing them to stay. 

Thanks, however, to Mr. Bell, who assured them that there 
was a better place six miles farther up the river, the company, af- 
ter a few deep-drawn sighs, reluctantly moved on, seme on foot, 
and some riding in the wagons, these being the first to reach the 
'•promised land." While they were pitching their tents, at the 
edge of the grove west of the place now occupied by the Catholic 
parsonage, Parker went back with one of the teams to meet the 
rest of the party. When the last straggler was picked up and 
brought in and all were seated in Turkish fashion round the 
crackling camp-fire, they with one voice declared that spot the 
most beautiful and attractive they had ever seen. The charming 
woods, the winding sweep of the crystal river, the range of cir- 
cling bluffs beyond, the smooth lawnlike slope from forest to 
stream, the autumnal robings of shrubs and trees and creeping 
vines, the bewildering beauty of the whole view, all combined to 
awaken their enthusiasm, stir their blood, and set every nerve to 
tingling with delight, while Hope was busy with her brush and 
easel painting bright visions of the future. 

Messer, the poet, the artist, the optimist, the dreamer par 
excellence of the company, which was divided about equally be- 
tv;een poets, artists, optimists, and dreamers, on the one side, and 
plain practical men on the other, seized his fiddle, which was never 
far from his person, and struck up "The Star Spangled Banner." 
The Hutchinsons, and all who could sing, "joined in." For the 
fiTit time since "the morning stars sang together." grand strains 
of heavenly harmony echoed through the listening grovts, and 
finally died away on the range of circling bluffs beyond the dis- 
tant river. 


November 20, a business meeting was held in the tent. Col. 
J- H. Stevens was chosen president ; B. E. Messer, secretary ; and 
A. J. Bell, Lewis Harrington, Asa B. Hutchinson, B. E. Messer, 
^''nd J. H. Stevens, a committee to draft a constitution and by- 
Jaws. They then adjourned to meet at Glencoe the next morning. 
November 21, the company met according to adjournment, and 



adopted articles of agreement, which were substantially as fol- 
lows : 

1. There shall be two town sites, each containing 320 acres: 
Harmony, to be located on the south half of section 31, township 
117, range 29; and Hutchinson, on the north half of section 6, 
township 116, range 29. 

2. The two sites shall be divided into 100 shares. 

3. The Hutchinsons shall each have ten shares. Each of 
the eleven men with them shall have five shares. The remain- 
ing fifteen shares shall be disposed of by the Hutchinsons as they 
think best. 

4. The river shall continue to be called by its Indian name 
Hassan (Leaf). 

5. L. Harrington, R. H. Pendergast, and Henry Chambers, 
were appointed to do the business of the company, and dispose of 
lots to actual settlers. 

■ 6. Special meetings shall be held at any time on the written 
request of three shareholders. 

7. Any shareholder neglecting to pay authorized assess- 
ments shall forfeit his stock. 

8. It was voted to employ L. Harrington to survey the two 
sites, his compensation being $380. 

9. Five acres w^ere set apart for "Humanity's Church." 

10. Fifteen acres were set aside for a park (afterward in- 
creased to twenty-two acres). 

11. Eight lots were reserved for educational purposes. 

12. It was solemnly decreed that "in the future of Hutchin- 
son, woman shall enjoy equal rights with man." 

13. "No lot shall ever be occupied by any building used as 
a saloon, bowling alley, or billiard room, on penalty of forfeiture 
of the lot." 

The next morning the company set out on their return to 

During the winter Messrs. Harrington and Bell surveyed the 
town site, Harrington really doing all the business connected with 
the survey, though he and Bell took the contract together. 


Agreeably to my promise made the fall before, I left Milwau- 



kt-e on the nth of April, 1856, for Hutchinson. My father and 
brother (T. H.), a cousin (Solomon Pendergast) now at Sauk 
Center, T. B. Giesley, and six others, had come out from New 
Hampshire to go with me. We reached Read's Landing, at the 
t<x)t of lake Pepin, on the 14th. There we waited two days for 
the ice to break up, when, tired of ''hope deferred," we walked 
round the lake thirty miles over a muddy road to Wacouta, where 
we found the Time and Tide, one of Louis Robert's boats, with 
<tcam up ready to take us to St. Paul. This steaming up we 
found was only a trick to make us buy tickets at once. It was 
played several times before the boat finally started. 

We landed at St. Paul on the 17th, and took passage on the 
Reveille for Carver. On the morning of the i8th we all left on 
foot for Young x\merica, where we staid that night, sleeping four 
in a bed wedged in like smelts. The next day hard walking began 
to tell on the older members of the party ; and the three young 
Pendergasts, Chesley, Atherton, and Glass, soon left the others 
out of sight. At Glencoe they got a lunch and pushed on, follow- 
ing directions received from some men who thought they knevv' 
the way. At nightfall we camped by a lake six miles out and a 
mile or so east of the present Hutchinson and Glencoe road. We 
had no blankets, no tent, and no food, except a few pieces of hard- 
tack bought at Carver the day before. 

Solomon, however, shot a goose near the shore of the lake, 
but, as bad luck would have it, she flew out to the middle of the 
lake before falling. Here was a "pretty kettle of fish." I prepared 
' Half a dozen little sticks and tried to get the others to draw, in or- 
der to decide which one of us should swim out and get her. It 
was forty rods to where she lay. The ground was beginning 
to freeze around the edge of the lake, and little needles of ice 
were shooting: out from the shore over the still water. There was 
nothing alluring to be seen, except the goose floating on the bosom 
of the lake at what seemed a long distance away. It was not a 
tempting bait under the circumstances. No one would draw a 
>iick. Disgusted with what seemed to me their cowardice, I went 
around to the opposite side of the lake, as the goose looked near- 
« r that shore, and plunged into the ice-cold water. On reaching 
tJie goose and looking around to take my bearings, the camp 
l<X)kc(I as near as the shore I had left ; so, taking the goose's neck 
i» my mouth, I paddled towards the fire, which had been kindled 



under a big oak and looked very comfortable, but which at the 
time did me very little good. The water was lighted up more 
than it was warmed by the blaze. Nearly benumbed, I landed 
with the trophy, only to -find that my thick woolen stockings had 
been burned in my absence by one of the boys who through kind- 
ness had undertaken to dry them before the fire. In three hours 
the goose was dressed and roasted. A half hour later every bone 
was picked as clean as a mounted skeleton. This done, we lay 
down on the bare ground, with some sticks and brush above and 
the stars twinkling through the impromptu lattice work. There 
and thus we slept the sleep of 'Tnnocents Abroad.'' 

At noon of the 20th we surprised Rosvv-ell and four compan- 
ions named Gray, Whitney, Failing, and Hook (from whom lake 
Hook got its name), who were holding possession of the J. E. 
Chesley hut, which stood a few rods from the southeast corner 
of the town site. 'Mv. Chesley, finding provisions running low, 
had gone to St. Paul to replenish his stock. That evening the 
rest of our company arrived, and, taking us all together, it must 
be admitted that as "famine breeders" we were a decided suc- 
cess. The visible supply of food, which consisted of about twenty 
pounds of flour, totally disappeared in two days. A bushel of po- 
tatoes, which had been procured for seed, lasted but little longer. 
A two-bushel sack of horse feed that stood in one corner of the 
room was not quite so quickly disposed of. It was ground coarse, 
the hulls were rough and plowed furrows broad and deep from 
one end of the oesophagus to the other. We made mush of this, 
and sweetened it with Hassan river water. After each meal we 
devoutly thanked the Lord for ground feed, and felt grateful that 
it **was as well with us as it was.'' 

After a few days Mr. Chesley came back with scant sup- 
pHes for so many, and then he and I started back to St. Paul im- 
mediately on foot, bought four yoke of oxen, a wagon, and a 
load of goods, including a big breaking plow. After two weeks 
of hard struggling over stumps, through mire-holes and mud 
lakes, we crossed the Hassan once more, plowed the first field, and 
harvested the first crop ever raised in the entire Hassan valley. 
The grasshoppers, however, which came in countless swarms 
about the first of July, left little harvesting for us to do. 




On July 4th, no other celebration having been planned, a bear 
hunt was improvised for the occasion, which resulted in killing 
.1 huge old bruin, weighing 400 pounds. From the departure of 
tile hunters to the return with the laurels of victory, the vvatches 
measured little more than an hour, for the game was- in a grove 
only half a mile away. This was the first Independence Day cel- 
ebration west of the Big Woods. 


Here is the record for the three months of my second wnnter 
in Hutchinson, taken from the expense book of seven who kept 
*'old bachelors' hall" together in the village. It was the most 
high-toned place there during that winter. 

Flour, sV^ barrels $66.00 

Beef, 257 pounds 25.70 

Potatoes, 7 bushels... 7.00 
Corn meal, 240 lbs. . . . 9.60 

Syrup, 8 gallons 8.00 

Candles, 20 lbs 5.00 

Beans, 2 bushels 4.00 

Rice, 12 lbs . . i .56 

Pepper, 6 papers .60 

Suet, 6 lbs 1 . 00 

Butter, 3 lbs 1.05 

Buckwheat, 15 lbs. . .90 

Salt, 14 lbs 90 

Soap, 3 lbs 45 

Cream of tarter, >^ lb. .35 
Saleratus, 9 lbs 1.35 

Total $133-46 

Cost per man a week. . . $1 .46 


At the first town meeting, May 11, 1858, forty-eight votes 
were cast. Four townships voted at Hutchinson, the north two 
casting 26 votes, aud the south two 22 votes. 




In the spring and early summer of 1858, a steamboat, twenty 
by sixty feet in size, was .built to run on the Hassan, Crow, and 
Mississippi rivers to Minneapolis. It made the down trip with- 
out much trouble, but never returned. The owners got a chance 
to sell it to ply on the Mississippi between ^Minneapolis and St. 
Cloud. The water of the Hassan river was so high that a steam- 
er could have run from Hutchinson to ^Minneapolis the first five 
years without much difficulty. 


Provisions were very scarce in the spring of 1858. Some 
families had lived through the winter on potatoes and slippery 
elm bark. But the middle of May found the Hassan alive with 
buffalo fishes, and the marshes were yellow with the flowers of - 
cowslips ; so for a while there was plenty and variety. Those who 
were too lazy to pick greens went fishing. The fish could be 
boiled, baked, stewed, or fried ; but, whichever way was chosen, 
the flavoring was always the same, pure Hassan river water. It 
took a connoisseur to decide which style of cooking had been 
adopted. ^lost of the people got their living in a way that may 
well be pronounced ''scaly." 


The contract for carrying the mail between Minneapolis and 
Hutchinson once a week was let this spring to Messrs. Sumner and 
Parshall. Previous to this, the young mm had taken turns in car- 
rying it on their shoulders. T. H. Pendergast's turn came round 
almost every week, as he was the most willing and the best walker. 


On Saturday, the i6th day of August, 1862, nine men, in- 
cluding myself, set out for Fort Snelling to enlist. Their names 
were G. T. Beldcn, William Gosnell. W. H. Harrington. . John 
Hartwig, J. T. Higgins, Andrew A. Hopper, Charles M. Horton, 
Charles Stahl, and \v. \V. Pendergast. The next Monday Capt. 




ik'orge C. Whitcomb arrived in town from Forest City, with the 
xt.irtling news that the Indians were "on the rampage," that Rob- 
:i:>on Jones and Howard Baker and their famihes had been killed 
at Acton the day before, and that ail the settlers west of us were 
likely to be massacred. Tuesday morning the captain was in St. 
F'aui, laying the facts before Governor Ramsey and Adjutant 
General Malmros, both of whom went at once to Fort Snellino- 


The governor inquired of me about the danger of an Indian out- 
break, but I could not confirm the report from Acton, and in fact 
(lid not believe it. Soon, however, a cour'^^r from the upper Min- 
nesota river came in with the news that Capt. John S. Marsh and 
more than half his company had been killed while crossing the 
river. There was no longer room for doubt. 

Our Hutchinson boys had not enlisted, so we all determined 
to go back and defend our own hearthstones. Captain Whitcomb 
came with us, having succeeded in getting seventy-five Springfield 
nuiskets and three boxes of cartridges, amounting to 3,000 rounds 
'^•f ammunition. We reached Glencoe the second night, having", 
ur.pressed three teams and two men at Shakopee to haul us ana 
the ammunition. It was seventeen miles from Glencoe to Hutch- 
inson. I determined to walk home that night and Mr. Gosnell 
offered to come with me. The offer was gladly accepted. 

Arriving at home at two o'clock in the morning, we found 
r;t our house twenty-six refugees who had escaped from the 
^'pper Sioux Agency under the gufdance of John Other Day ; and 
\\e learned that other refugees were at Harrington's, Belden's, 
Putnam's, and one or two other places, the whole number being 
•il>out fifty. All of them left that morning, on Fn'day, xAusust 
--^id, for the more eastern settlements. 

Captain Whitcomb, with the teams and mihtary supplies, ar- 
J'ived the same day. A company of Home Guards was soon or- 
l^anized, Lewis Harrington being the captain, Oliver Pierce and 
Andrew Hopper, lieutenants, and W. W. Pendergast, orderly 
''^Tgcant. A stockade 100 feet square was constructed in twelve 
<hys. Then came the battle on the road from Acton to Hutch- 
inson, where Capt. Richard Strout's company was beset bv 300 
^ioux who had been lying in ambush for tiiem. Captain Strout 
nonaged to get away and come to Hutchinson, with twenty-three 
nien wounded, and leaving three dead on the field. 

That night these Indians attempted to surprise us; but they 




were halted at the bridge by our sentinels. Instantly all was bus- 
tle and activity at the garrison. Officers and men were on the 
alert. In every direction shadowy forms might be seen moving 
about in the darkness, peering to catch, if possible, a glimpse of 
the approaching foe. After half an hour's bootless search, no 
further cause of alarm being discovered, the camp once more re- 
lapsed to silence, which was not again disturbed. 


The fourth of September opened bright and beautiful. No 
sign of Indians w^as anywhere visible, yet most of the men deter- 
mined not to leave the fort. A few Germans, however, thinking 
the enemy had gone off in some other direction, concluded to go out 
to their farms and try to save some of their wheat, which during 
these troublesome times had been sadly neglected. Six or seven 
of them started about seven o'clock for their homes in Acoma, and 
had just reached the point where the road turns to the right to as- 
cend the bluff near Peter Geoghegan's field. Old Mr. Heller was 
walking a few rods in advance of the team, when a volley was 
fired from the brow of the hill and Heller was severely vv^ounded 
in the hip. The horses were quickly wheeled about, the wounded 
man was helped into the wagon, and the half mile that lay be- 
tween them and the fort was made in less time than ever before or 

When the Germans were leaving for their farms, Howard 
McEwen volunteered to go to the house of W. W. Pendergast, 
on the bluff at the edge of the woods, east of Albert Langbecker's 
residence, to get some delicacies for the wounded soldiers of 
Strout's company. He had found the articles and started back, 
but in passing through one of the rooms he noticed a book on the 
mantel-piece, and stopped to look it through. While thus en- 
gaged, he was startled by the firing at Mr. Heller, and, in looking 
out of the window, saw the hill to the west covered with Indians. 
Though he knew that his safety depended on reaching the bridge 
in advance of the Indians, who were following the Germans up as 
fast as they could, still he did not forget his errand. Gathering 
up his jellies and preserves, he hastened down the hill and got in- 
to the town safely. 

Soon the Indians were seen circling around the town in all 




^'ircctions, except to the south. From the point where they were 
;:r;t seen to Chesley's, at the southeast corner of the town, there 
was a continuous line of them, while through the woods at the 
west their dark forms were occasionally seen gliding from one tree 
or thicket to another. 

At the commencement of the attack, about eight o'clock, Wil- 
liam H. Ensign mounted ''old Selim,*' and, with haf in hand and 
};air streaming in the wind, dashed away toward Glencoe for re- 

Levi Chesley and a boy by the name of William W^right( son 
of E. G. Wright, who married Eliza Chesley) were at the farm 
taking care of the stock, having left us an hour before for that pur- 
j,»osc. Warned of approaching danger by the sound of the guns, 
they looked out of the barn and saw retreat to the town was al- 
ready cut off, and that the Indians were close upon them. To 
bridle the best two horses and jump upon their backs was the 
work of a moment. In another moment they were scouring across 
the prairie at breakneck speed, with half a dozen Indians at their 
heels. Soon all but two who had the swiftest ponies v/ere dis- 
tanced. These two followed nearly half way to Glencoe, when, 
finding themselves gradually losing ground, they suddenly faced 
aI)Out and returned to Hutchinson to join their companions. 

Seeing the preparations that had been made for their recep- 
tion in the center of the town, the Indians amused themselves for 
a while by setting fire to the buildings on the outskirts. The torch 
was first applied to the house of Dr., as that stood 
farthest out of town to the northwest. The next one fired was 
•hat of W. W. Pendergast. Next was the academy, and while 
the fiames were slowly creeping up the southwest corner of this 
building its bell was vigorously rung as an alarm. Then followed 
^•ther houses on the bluff, Kittredge's, Welton's, Pierce's and 
Oiesley's. On the south side Solomon Pendergast's, J. H. Chubb's, 
2nd several smaller ones, shared the same fate. 

During this time the twenty-three wounded men of Captam 
>t rout's company were carried from the hotel to a place of great- 
f >afety, but less comfort, inside the fort. 

It was interesting to note the altered behavior of the Indians 
•'•l^cn they came in sight of the stockade. As soon as the first 
volley was fired upon the German farmers, they set up a fearful 



war cry, and came up over the bluti whooping and yelHng as only 
wild Indians can ; but when their eyes caught sight of the fort, the 
trench around it, and armed m.en prepared to defend it, they stood 
for a moment dumbfounded. But relying upon their superior num- 
bers, and remembering how the whites had so far everywhere tied 
before them, they commenced to put their preconcerted plan into 

This was to make a vigorous attack from the north, at which 
all the inhabitants were expected to retreat toward St. Paul, just 
as they did at Yellow Medicine. To make their victory more com- 
plete, about a third of their number were placed in ambush along 
the border of the grove that skirts the road to Glencoe all the way 
from the town to the Hutchinson hill. It was thought that while 
the victorious Indians were pressing the fugitives from behind and 
driving them like a flock of frightened sheep, those in ambuscade 
would pour in a deadly fire upon them, soon make clean work of 
it, and carry off, with little trouble or danger to themselves, an 
abundant harvest of scalps. 

But the people here, as the Indians soon found, had no notion 
of retreating, and were determined to give them ball for ball. 
The Hutchinson Guards, without consulting Captain Strout, took 
the places previously assigned to them, Captain Harrington and 
his fifteen men on the west of the fort. Lieutenant Hopper and 
his men on the east, Pierce at the south, and Pendergast at the 
north. We were thus advancing upon the Indians in four differ- 
ent directions for the purpose of protecting the buildings and sav- 
ing the cattle and horses, wliich were being stolen by dozens be- 
fore our eyes, when Captain Strout, seeing what was going on 
and fearing for the safety of the fort, assumed command of the 
Hutchinson con-pany and the entire fort, and issued a peremptory 
order that all should return within the stockade, which most oi 
the men obeyed. 

A few refused to recognize Strout's authority, notably Cap- 
tain Harrington, Lieutenants Pierce and Plopper, Orderly Pen- 
dergast, Andrew Hopper, H. McEwen, W. Putnam, G. T. Belden, 
'D. Sivright, William Cook, S. Dearborn, D. Cross, Amos James, 
H. Harrington, and perhaps one or two others : and these fought 
through tlie day each on his own hook, as indeed all did after a 
short time. 

Lieutenant Hopper got near enough to an Indian near tlic 




sawmill to make him *'bite the dust ;" and Cross was equally for- 
tunate east of the fort. He and one lone Indian had a regular 
duel, firing three shots apiece, until the last shot of Cross killed his 
antagonist. In each case the other Indians near at hand caught up 
the body and carried it off the field. 

Andrew A. Hopper, H. Harrington, G. T. Belden, and H. 
McEwen, firing from the chamber of Sumner's Hotel (the Hart- 
man House), repelled the enemy from that direction. 

Earlier in the day, S. Dearborn, xA.ndrew Hopper, and W. W. 
Pendergast, went down nearly to the river, because many of the 
redskins were on the other bank, dividing their time between steal- 
ing horses and firing at the men on the south side. Taking their 
stations behind some logs that were scattered along the riverside, 
and behind ginseng frames that Sumner had piled up there, they 
[x'>pped away for half an hour. The effect was not known, as the 
grass was tall there, and as it was the custom of the Indians to 
fall whenever a shot was fired in their direction, whether hit or 
not. At any rate, they retired to a respectful distance, and the 
three sought other fields of usefulness. 

Howard ^IcEwen distinguished himself by going from the 
fort over to Sumner's barn, when the balls were flying thickest, 
and bringing back Sivright's double harness. When asked what 
he did that for, he said that the barn was likely to be burned, that 
they v/anted Sivright's mules to take the women out with after 
the fight, and that this was the only harness he knew of that could 
be saved. 

About noon when the fort was surrounded by a circle of fire 
from the smouldering buildings, the Sioux made a desperate ef- 
fort to advance from the grove on the west to set fire to the build- 
ings that remained betv;een them and the stockade. Sumner then 
oliered a pair of boots to every man who would go to his store, 
on the west side of Main street, and bring over a back-load of 
croods. Several of the younger men volunteered, and a dozen 
loads were safelv stored in the fort within as many minutes. No 
one was hurt, but a bullet hit the pack which C. M. Horton was 
Carrying, and was picked out of one of the boots that composed 
his load. 

There were several "close calls'' during the day's fight, but 
i^''^ one in or about the fort actually received any injury. The 
^hooting was mostly at long range. Amos James was wounded 



by a spent ball, splintering the stock of the gun which he held in 
his hand. Bullets perforated the buildings inside the stockade, 
as well as those that were occupied and defended ; but on the part 
of the garrison it was a bloodless fight. 

Some of the Indians who fought here were afterwards taken 
prisoners by General Sibley, and they acknowledged a loss of 
four killed and fifteen wounded at Hutchinson on that 4th of 


About four o'clock in the afternoon the firing began to grow 
weaker, and it was soon noticed that the enemy were disappearing 
from the north, east, and south, and were retreating toward the 
west. Soon afterward a company of about forty soldiers were 
seen approaching from the direction of Glencoe. These were 
reinforcements that Ensign had succeeded in obtaining. He went 
first to Glencoe, but found so few men left there that none could 
be spared. He heard, however, that a small company of infantry 
and cavalry was stationed at lake Addie, twelve miles distant to 
the west. Proceeding at once to that place, he found the soldiers 
and prevailed on them to march to the relief of Hutchinson, and 
they were the men who arrived just after the close of the battle. 

It is very probable that the Indians observed them long be- 
fore they were seen from the garrison, and that they withdrew 
for that reason. They had already sent back a dozen teams, more 
or less, loaded with household goods and other valuables plund- 
ered from the houses which they burned in the morning. 

Many persons who had come into the fort left their wagons 
and harnesses at home, and their horses and cattle on the prairie. 
The Indians gathered ail the oxen and horses they could lay their 
hands to, and hitched them to the wagons which they found, so 
that there was no lack of teams to transport their plunder. 
They shot other horses and cattle that came within range, to the 
number of about a hundred. 

On reaching Otter lake, they stopped and held a council of 
war. Some were in favor of resting there a few hours, and then, 
under cover of the night, to come back and take the people by 
surprise. They argued that our men, thinking they had fled and 
that our victory was complete, would set no pickets, that the fort 




might be fired in a dozen places before the alarm would be sound- 
ed, and that amid the darkness and confusion they could make 
short work of massacring the entire garrison. 

But wiser councils prevailed. The older men said that, as 
they failed to surprise us on the night before, so they would fail 
ac^ain; that the preparations we had made to receive them, the 
painstaking and skill manifested in the fortifications, and the 
good judgment shown in their location, where they could not 
come up from any direction without exposing themselves to al- 
most certain death, ail went to prove that the Hutchinson men 
were w'ary and cautious, and not to be easily caught napping. 
They thought the best way for them was to leave with the plunder 
they had obtained, and to try their luck somewhere else at sur- 
prises. So the proposed night attack was given up. 

This matter of the consultation at Otter lake was learned 
from the Indian prisoners at Beaver Falls. In point of fact, there 
would have been no chance for a successful night attack. A 
double guard was kept up around the fort all night long; and, 
with the additional forty men and the extra ammunition they 
brought with them, the fort could have been held, and would have 
been held, against a thousand such assailants. 


Two Germans, by the name of Bilke and Spaude, were at 
this time living on the farm where old "Sir. Sitz now resides, a 
tew miles up the river, in the town of Lynn. They refused to 
come into the fort, because, they said, they had always treated 
the Indians well, and the Indians were never forgetful of kind- 
ness shown them. They did net anticipate any injuries, and could 
not Ix? made to see their danger. 

But when, on the morning of the fight at Hutchinson, a few 
Indians came to their house while the famiHes were at breakfast, 
and in a threatening manner demanded a meal, they began to 
think they would be safer in the fort. While their guests were 
causing their bread and meat and potatoes to disappear with 
marvelous rapidity, they hastened to yoke the oxen and hitch 
them to the wagon. This done, both families got aboard and 
-started across the river on the way to the town. They had gone 
but a few rods, however, when the Indians came out of the house 



and fired, wounding Spaude in the leg. He whipped up his team 
and set them to running at the top of their speed, the Indians 
yelling and pursuing. In this way they dashed down the bank 
into the river, and there Spaude was shot again, and fell into the 
middle of the stream, where the body was found the next day. 

Bilke and the women and children now leaped from the 
wagon, and took refuge in the tall grass on the north side of the 
river, at this place six or seven feet high. While the Indians who 
were following them stopped to scalp Spaude, the others managed 
to conceal themselves from view and were not discovered. It 
has always been a matter of wonder that they succeeded in escap- 
ing as they did ; but doubtless the Indians thought that they had 
guns with them, and that if any one should happen to stumble 
upon their hiding place it would be at the expense of his life. 
They could see the grass quiver where the Indians went along, 
but so far they were safe. Afrs. Spaude prevented her two-year- 
old baby from betraying with its cries their place of concealment 
by pressing her hand upon its mouth. 

As soon as they found the coast in a measure clear, the two 
families separated. Mrs. Spaude recrossed the river with the 
baby and a five-year-old child, and, crouching and picking their 
way along in the tallest grass, they made their toilsome way 
around the south end of Otter lake, and along the edge of the 
woods, till they reached the corner of Mr. Hutchinson's field, in 
sight of the fort, a little after noon, when they were seen and 
killed by the attacking Indians. When picked up at evening, their 
faces were entirely shot away, the muzzles of the guns having 
been held but a few inches away when they were fired. 

Mrs. Bilke, with three children, remained longer concealed 
in the grass, and at last made her way to a vacant log-house near 
the river on the north side, where they staid over night, and where 
they were found the next day and brought to the town. Mr. 
Bilke, clad only in a checked hickory shirt, after meeting innumer- 
able troubles and dangers, finally reached the town just after the 
Indians left. He had divested himself of one piece of clothing 
after another, so as to run faster; had been all day surrounded 
by his enemies : had dodged this way and that, to avoid them ; and 
unscathed had now got where he could take a long breath and 
feel safe. 




On the 22(1 of September the Hutchinson Guards, having 
bocn already recognized by the State as a regular military organ- 
ization, were sworn into the service, their time commencing 
Aui::ust 23, 1862. They were on duty seventy days, to the first 
of November. 

Lieut. Oliver Pierce, Frank G. Jewett, and David Cross, left 
Hutchinson on September 23d, to look up a man named Sanborn 
who had not been seen for several days. They first visited Mr. 
Webb's house, eight miles distant to the northwest, which they 
found to have been ransacked. The next stop was at Dr. Ken- 
nedy's, where all was topsy-turvy. Surgical instruments, bottles 
of medicine, pills, plasters, and potions, lay scattered in inextri- 
cable confusion. Tincture bottles were found empty. Jars of' speci- 
mens preserved in alcohol had been drained to the last drop, and 
all the doctor's collections of rare and interesting entomological, 
vermiculous, and batrachoid curiosities were in the last stages of 
decay. The Indians have a deep and abiding faith in fire-water, 
and look upon the wasting of the smallest quantity as a calamity. 
They doubtless got some doses this time that were long remem- 

From Kennedy's the men were walking along, slowly and 
carefully examining the ground, when suddenly three guns were 
fired, almost at the same instant, and Cross fell to the ground, 
pierced by a bullet through the heart. He died immediately. The 
'ithers thought to bring the body back with them, but the Indians 
were upon them and they had to fight their way to the team, 
which they made good use of. It did not take their foes more 
than a minute or two to mount and give chase, and never had 
that region witnessed such a race. The driver. Pierce, urged the 
horses to the top of their speed; and thirteen Sioux, on their 
ponies, were crowding them closely, with Cross's scalp hoisted 
on a pole for a battle flag. Jewett sat in the rear of the wagon, 
with his legs dangling down, loading and firing as fast as the 
swaying and jolting permitted ; and the leaders of the chase gave 
back sliot for shot. Three or four at last gave up and turned 
back. One got to the front, and a well-directed shot unhorsed 
him. This ended the pursuit. The next day another party went 
out and brought in the bodies of both Cross and Sanborn, the 


latter having been brained with a grub-hoe and left where he fell. 

No other stirring event occurred till the following July, when 
Little Crow was killed about six miles north of Hutchinson. 


On the morning of July 3, 1863, Nathan Lamson and his son 
Chauncey left Hutchinson for their home in the north part of the 
town, about five miles away, to look after their stock. All being 
found as they left it a few weeks before, they started out near 
evening to hunt for a deer. While they were stealing carefully 
along a dim path or trail, leading northwestward, the old man's 
quick eye caught sight of something moving in the bushes a few 
rods beyond them. Peering through the thicket, he saw two 
Indians, a middle-aged man (afterward ascertained to be Little 
Crow) and a boy (his son Wowinapa) of about sixteen years, 
picking raspberries which were abundant and ripe. 

Mr. Lamson thought this too good a chance to lose. Creep- 
ing to a poplar tree which stood near, he rested his gun against 
the trunk and fired, wounding Little Crow in the side. He did 
not fall, but, looking around, saw his assailant, and in an instant 
sent a bullet thrcrgli the fleshy part of Mr. Lamson's left shoul- 
der. Chauncey tl":cn advanced toward Little Crow, following the 
rather blind trail around the raspberry patch toward the north- 
WQSt, while his father dropped to the ground to reload. Little 
Crow, evidently thinking him killed, seized his son's rifle and 
moved along the bush-skirted path toward Chauncey. They saw 
each other and fired at tlie same moment. Only one report was 
heard by either Chauncey or his fatlier. Little Crow fell mortally 
wounded by a bullet through his breast, and Chauncey felt the 
wind upon his cheek as the other ball passed harmlessly by. 

Supposing his father to have been killed, and fearing lest 
other Indians might be near, Chauncey hurried to give the alarm 
in Hutchinson, and reached there about ten o'clock that evening. 
His mother, nearly distracted, begged the men at the fort to go in 
search of her husband. William Gosnell was the first to vounteer. 
Birney Lamson, the old man's youngest son. a Frenchman by the 
name' of Le Maitre, and two or three other citizens followed, 
They, with six mounted men of the Goodhue County Tigers, who 
were stationed at Hutchinson, set out immediately, and reached 



Uimson's house a little past midnight, where they rested about 
three hours. At the beginning of dawn, they resumed their march. 
They went north one mile to the woods path before mentioned, 
and turning to the west followed it about half a mile, when they 
came to the body of Little Crow stretched out at length on the 
ground about six rods from the spot where young Lamson deliv- 
ered the fatal shot. 

Nathan Lamson's white shirt and his gun were found in a 
plum grove near by, but the owner was not to be seen. On the 
return of the party to Hutchinson, however, he was among the 
first to welcome them. He had thrown away his shirt, thinking 
that its color might attract the notice of the foe, and his gun was 
left because he was not able, in reloading, to get the ball down 
more than nine inches from the muzzle, so that he feared it would 
burst if he attempted to fire it. In his trepidation he had filled 
the barrel nearly full in loading it direct from the powder flask. 
He had lain concealed in the thicket until nightfall, and then, 
leaving his shirt and gun, had made his way to Hutchinson, arriv- 
ing about two o'clock in the morning. 

Wowinapa, escaping and returning to rejoin the Sioux in 
Dakota, was captured twenty-six days later by a party of our 
soldiers near Devil's lake. His statement, as published by Heard 
and by Bryant and Murch in their books on the Sioux outbreak 
and war, proved that the Indian thus shot near Hutchinson was 
Little Crow, who had been the chief orator and plotter for the 
massacre of the frontier settlers less than a year before. 


MiNNKSdTA lUsrOItlCAI, SociK'iy, 
•V«.I.. X. I'l.AlK IV. 




On the i6th day of December, 1850, I called on Governor 
Ramsey at his new house on Walnut street, to which he had re- 
cently moved. The governor was surrounded by a large delega- 
tion of Sioux Indians, each of whom had a long-stem pipe across 
his lap. Those were the first wild Indians I had ever seen. 
Their faces were painted in streaks of red and black, and many of 
them had eagle feathers on their heads. They were orderly, so 
far as I could see, and I little thought that within a few years I 
should carry their yearly supplies to Redwood Agency, and guns 
and ammunition up the Minnesota river to destroy these same 

St. Paul at that time was little more than an Indian trading 
post. The Indians in winter camped in the heavy timber on the 
west side of the river from Kaposia to a point opposite St. Paul. 
As soon as the ice formed so as to bear them, great numbers 
would cross over to trade. Trading was done with A. L. Larpen- 
tcur, on the corner of Third and Jackson streets ; with Mr. Simp- 
^on, on Minnesota and Third streets; and the Fuller Brothers, 
at the Upper Levee. All these traders dealt heavily in furs. 

In the year 1850, I preempted what is now called Langdon, 
situated near the river, fifteen miles below St. Paul. After I fm- 

•H«r.(J at the monthly meeting: of the Executive Council, May 13. rjOl. 




ished my house on the prairie and moved in, the Sioux used to 
pass frequently on their way to Point Douglas. During the two 
years we were on the prairie, we were not troubled by them., 
neither did we hear of any family that was troubled. I found tliat 
farming was not my forte, so I returned to St. Paul. 


In 1855 I had command of the steamer Globe, making trips 
on the Minnesota river, and in the early fall of that year v/e car- 
ried supplies to the Sioux at Redwood Agency. The Indians 
would come down the river several miles to meet the boat. They 
were like a lot of children, and when the steamboat approached 
they would shout, "Xitonka pata-wata washta," micaning, "Your 
big fire-canoe is good." They would then cut across the bend, 
yelling until we reached the landing. 

In the fall of that year, 1855, ^^'^-^^ supplies were late, when 
I received orders from Agent Murphy to turn over to the Indians 
twelve barrels of pork, and twelve barrels of flour. As soon as 
we landed, we rolled the supplies on shore. I was informed that 
the Indians were in a starving condition. It was amusing to 
see five or six of them rolling a barrel of pork up the bank, when 
two of our deck hands would do the work in half the time. 

A young Indian girl stood at the end of the gang plank, 
wringing her hands and looking toward the boat, exclaiming 
"Sunka wanicha," meaning "They have my dog." The cabin boy 
told me the cook had coaxed the dog on board and hid it. I could 
speak the language so as to be understood, and I motioned to the 
girl and said, "Xiye kuwa," meaning "Come here." She came on 
board, and I told the cook to bring the dog to me. When the 
dog came, she caught it in her arms, exclaiming, "Sunka washta," 
meaning "Good dog." She then ran on shore and up the hill. It 
seemed to me that white people took advantage of the Indian 
when they could, even steamboat cooks. 

When the flour and pork were on level ground, the barrel 
heads were knocked in, and the pork was cut in small strips and 
thrown in a pile. Two hundred squaws then formed a circle, and 
several Indians handed the pieces of pork to the squaws until the 
pile was disposed of. The flour was placed in tin pans, each squaw 
receiving a panful. 



Later, in the same season, we had an unfortunate trip. The 
boat was loaded deep. Luckily Agent Murphy and Capt. Louis 
Robert were on board. We had in the cabin of the boat ninety 
thousand dollars in gold. About three miles below the Agency, 
we ran on a large boulder. After much effort, we got the boat 
afloat. Major Murphy gave orders to land the goods, so that 
they might be hauled to the Agency. We landed and unloaded, 
covering the goods with tarpaulins. There were about fifty kegs 
of powder with the goods. While we were unloading, the agent 
sent for a team to take Captain Robert and himself, with the gold. 
10 the Agency. Then we started down the river. We had gone 
only a few miles, when we discovered a dense smoke, caused by 
a prairie fire. The smoke was rolHng toward the pile of goods, 
which we had left in charge of two men. When we reached the 
ferry at Red Bank, a man on horseback motioned us to land, and 
told us that the goods we left were all burnt up and the powder 
exploded. This was a sad blow to the Indians. 

The following is a list of the steamboats running on the 
Minnesota river, during high water, in the year 1855 later: 
Clarion, Captain Humberson : Globe, Captain Edwin Bell: Time 
and Tide, Captain Nelson Robert: Jeannette Roberts, Captain 
Charles Timmens ; ^loUie }vIoler. Captain Houghton : :Minnesota. 
Captain Hays; and the Frank Steele and Favorite, both side- • 
wheel steamers. These boats were drawn off when the water got 
low; and when the railroad paralleled the river, all boats quit 

On the i6th day of December. 1895, I called on Governor 
Ramsey again, to talk over old times, forty-five years after my 
first call. What changes have 'taken place since then! When I 
started to leave, I thought I would see how much the governor re- 
membered of the Sioux language. I said, "Governor, nitonka 
ttpee, washta." ''What di'd you say, captain?" asked the governor. 
I replied, "Nitonka tepee, washta." 'Why, captain," said he, 
"that means, My house is large and good;" and, with a wmk, 
"Captain, let's have a nip." Of course we nipped, and said "Ho!" 
All old settlers will know the meaning of the Sioux exclamation, 


In the summer of 1859 I arranged with Mr. J. C. Burbank 




to go to the Red River of the North to take charge of the steam 
boat Anson Xorthup, load the freight on the boat, and take it to 
Fort Garry. This was the first steamboat ever run on the Red 

I was to take a few men with me for deck hands, and Dudley 
Kelly, a brother of Patrick H. Kelly, as clerk. I would find a pilot 
and engineer at the boat. We left the next morning on tiie stage. 
On arriving at the Red river, we were informed that the boat had 
started for the townsite of Georgetown, in charge of the stage 
agent. If we drove fast, they said, we would overtake the boat, 
as the river was very crooked. We got ahead of her, and when 
we heard her coming around the bend, we hailed them. They 
landed, and I went on board and showed my papers to the man 
in charge of the boat, who introduced me to the pilot, Jesse Young, 
and also to Lem Young, the engineer. Then leaving us, he got 
on the stage, going to Abercrombie. 

We started for Georgetown. We found three deck hands 
on the boat. Two were old pinery men. They were of great 
service afterward at Goose rapids. There were also two families 
on board, the first pioneer families coming through the United 
States to Fort Garry. All others came by the way of Hudson bay. 
Two men were also passengers, one a minister. We soon landed 
at Georgetown, and loaded the freight on the boat. 

Two more passengers got on board there for Fort Garry. I 
inquired about the river below. They said the water w^as deep 
down to the fort. As voyageurs, in their birch canoes, they had 
passed up and down without trouble, but we found a steamboat a 
little different from a canoe. I called a meeting to find out the 
amount of provisions there was on board, as in our stage trip to 
the Red river we had passed the wagon with provisions for the 
boat. They had a broken wheel, and a man had gone back to St. 
Cloud for a new one. This would take several days. The pas- 
sengers and crew were all anxious to start down the river, and. 
as there were provisions to last through the trip, all went well 
until we reached Goose rapids. 

There we saw the break of boulders in the channel of the 
river, and we also saw shoal water on a gravel bar below. The 
pilot and I took the small skiff to examine. We found that the 
boulders would have to be removed before we could get through. 
We made scrapers to dig below the boulders. When we had dug 





a hole large enough to hold a boulder, we brought the bow of the 
l)oat against it and then came ahead, shoving the boulder into the 
opening we had made. 

This we continued to do until the boulders were all out of 
the way, and then we started over the bar. Getting half way 
over, the boat stuck fast. We commenced to carry the freight 
on shore, to lighten ; and fortunately the freight was in square 
packages with lugs. The men would turn their backs to the guard 
of the boat, receive a package, and wade to shore, to the pile. 
This was of no benefit, as the water fell fast. I sent two men back 
to Georgetown, to have Mr. Joseph ]\IcKay come and get the 

When we had the boat unloaded we tried to move her by 
backing to throw the water under her, and then reversed to come 
ahead quick for starting. It v/as of no use. Some of our party 
wanted me to abandon the steamboat and strike for Pembina, a 
hundred miles or more down the river. I said "No," and at once 
decided to build a dam, this being the first dam ever put in on 
the Red river. 

I will describe the way it was built. First we cut two cotton- 
wood logs, ten feet long, and chopped out the middle to form a 
trough, leaving the ends and sides of each. We then spliced them 
together, calked them, and built a platform on this scow for men 
to stand on to drive stakes. The stakes were cut about seven 
feet long and sharpened. We commenced to drive from the east 
shore, and drove a straight line of stakes to the boat. We had 
a man at each end of the scow, to hold it up to the stakes, and to 
move it as the stakes were driven. There was a very strong cur- 
rent over the bar. We knew that if the dam was not a success 
there would be starvation, for our provisions were nearly ex- 
hausted and we were a long way ^from civilization. 

Now came the tug of war. Our crew cut cottonwood logs, 
twelve feet long, and rolled them to the river. This was hard 
work. All brush had to be cut in front of the logs to clear the 
way. When in the water two or three men would follow them to 
place them in line above the stakes. This was done until we had 
<-nough to reach to the boat. 

We had as a passenger a hearty Scotch minister. lie sent 
for me to come on board for prayers. I went. After prayers he 


Spoke as though I ought to have brought the men with me. I 
said to him, "God will help them that help themselves." 

The dam required a large amount of brush. This was car- 
ried to the lower side of the logs, to be put on them with the brush 
ends up stream and the butts on the logs. While we were so plac- 
ing the brush, I looked on the shore where the freight was piled, 
and saw a man. He hailed us and came on board. It was Capt. 
Russell Blakeley. I explained to him the condition we were in. 
He pulled from his pocket a lot of fish lines and hooks, and hand- 
ed them to me. They proved a great blessing to us. I knew 
then that they would save us from starving. All who could be 
spared from the work began fishing, and they had great success. 
We continued to pile the brush on the logs, and when we got 
about half way from the shore to the boat I could see the water 
- begin to rise above the dam. When wx got to within fifteen feet 
of the boat with the brush, she rose and shot over the bar into 
deep water. 

We hauled the small scow aboard, which was built for driv- 
ing the stakes, fearing that we might need it farther down the 
stream. Then we raised steam and started for Fort Garry, 
Captain Blakeley going with us from Goose rapids. When we 
reached the mouth of the Red Lake river, we saw a great many 
birch canoes on the west bank of the Red river. We heard later 
at Fort Garry that the Indians intended to intercept the boat ; but 
they had got out of provisions, and had left their canoes to go on 
a hunt. 

Just, below the Red Lake river we caught up with two men 
in a canoe. They had a large number of geese and goslings in 
their canoe that they had shot. We lifted their canoe on board, 
and I offered to buy their game. They refused to sell, but made 
us a present of all they had, knowing the need we were in. We 
then lived high on fish and goslings for breakfast, goose for din- 
ner, and goslings for supper. 

The boat being light, we reached Fort Garry without further 
trouble. We unloaded the passengers and freight, and then had 
to find, a place to lay the boat up in safety for the winter. \Vc 
were recommended to take her to the Stone Fort, about fifteen 
miles below Fort Garry. 

In the morning we got ready to start for the Stone Fort, 


when a few men came and said they wanted to go down to the 
tort with us. After landing at the fort, a few more men came 
and said they wanted to take a short ride as they never had seen 
a steamboat before. We started, and about five miles below the 
Stone Fort, we saw a band of Indians looking with wonder at the 
boat. When we got opposite the Indians, I motioned to the pilot 
to blow the whistle. He did so, and such a scattering you never 
saw. Some ran, and some jumped into the bulrushes close by to 
liide. One of the gentlemen called to them, and they came to the 
boat laughing and having great fun among themselves. Then we 
returned and laid the boat up. The engineer drained the pumps 
and blew the water out of the boilers, leaving the boat in good 
order for the winter. 


All the crew walked to Fort Garry, and we made our camp 
at the mouth of the Assiniboine, to wait for the ox train to go to 

I visited the fort several times. They were very precise in 
all their movements within. The bell rang at nine o'clock, and 
the gate was opened for trade. All goods came by way of Hud- 
son bay. I was invited to dine with Governor ?vIcTavish, and had 
a pleasant time, talking about our trip down the river. He asked 
me, with a twinkle in his eye, if the minister prayed us over the 

I was invited to attend an Indian feast in the morning. It 
was a religious ceremony, and in the afternoon a feast. It was 
held in an enclosure made of brush. No one was allowed inside 
except their band, but we could see over the fence all that tran- 
spired. The Indians sat on the ground inside the enclosure, and 
there were in the center, at certain distances apart, five large dead 
d')gs with their hair singed oft. At the head of the enclosure a 
young squaw sat on a bed of moss. She wore a new red blanket, 
and her hair was braided and hung down her back. An Indian 
w.-mld spring up and go with a kind of hop, holding a beaver skin 
in his hand and shaking it before her, saying something as though 
a^king a blessing. She would nod, and he would pass around the 
^quaw. The next Indian brought an otter skin, the next a musk- 



rat, and so on until they had brought all the animals, going 
through the same ceremony as with the beaver. The next were 
geese, ducks, and other birds, and so on down to hay from the 
marsh. The company then broke up until the afternoon. 

Going back about one o'clock, I found the squaws making 
soup from the dogs that were in the enclosure. The Indians went 
and took their seats as before, the young squaw in her place. The 
squaws brought the soup to the entrance, and then the Indians 
took the kettles of soup with a ladle in each kettle, and it was 
passed around, each Indian taking a sup, until the soup was all 
gone. I left before the company broke up. 

Winnipeg now is not as Fort Garry was then. There were 
only three houses there. 1 went across the river several times to 
visit Mr. Norman W. Kittson in his Indian trading post, and al- 
ways had a pleasant call. 


When the train was ready to start for Georgetown, each of us 
had an ox cart to travel in. We then started on our long journey. 
We made a short stop at Pembina. The second day out from 
there we saw some buffaloes running over the hills. The hunter 
for the train started for them, and in a few hours returned with 
all the meat and hide he could carry on his horse. The hide was 
for harness. We passed deep paths made by the buffaloes going 
in single file from lake to lake. 

We made camp early that evening, having found good feed 
and water for the cattle. Standing by a large oak tree, in full 
view was an immense buffalo. A man from St. Paul who was in 
the train gave the hunter two dollars to let him take a horse and 
gun to kill the buffalo. When the man got within thirty yards 
of him, the buffalo started toward the man. He shot, but did 
not take time to look around to see if he had killed the buffalo. 
It was amusement for us to see the buft'alo chasing the man on 
horseback. The way our expert hunter killed the buffalo was 
interesting. He circled around him, and then shot. He droppe^l 

We were called next morning early. The oxen were all near 
the carts excepting mine. I could see him a long way bclnn*! 
feeding, and M'r. Dudley Kelly and I started for him. By tlu' 


time we arrived where we thought the ox was, there came a dense 
fog, so that we could not see thirty feet ahead of us. I exclaimed, 
"Dudley, we are lost!" "I haven't a knife or match with me," he 
said. "Well," said I, pointing to the large frogs in the grass, ''as 
long as these fellows are jumping around, we will not starve." I 
knew the way the wind blew when we left camp, and I was sure 
by keeping the wind on my left shoulder I could return to it. 

After about half an hour's walking, I said, *'There is the 
tree near the camp where the buffalo was that we killed last 
night." As we approached the tree, we could see, through the 
mist, that the limbs were moving. Directly we heard a voice. 
The tree was Captain Blakeley, and the limbs moving were his 
arms waving for us. He was on the road waiting for us, and it 
was a great relief to find him. He informed us that the train 
had moved on. We did not overtake it until they w'ent into camp. 

This must have been the great hunting ground for the In- 
dian, as there were thousands and thousands of bleached buffalo 
bones lying on the prairie. 

We reached Georgetown all right, and thence we left the 
river and went across the country to St. Cloud. When we arrived 
at the Crow^ river, the water was so high that we had to ford it, 
carrying our clothes on our heads, and it w^as indeed a cold bath, 
as there w^as ice on the edge of the river. We arrived at home in 
St. Paul safely after a hard trip. 


In August, 1862, we w^ere making the steamboat trip from 
St. Paul to Carver and back again daily. On one of our return 
trips from Carver in the latter part of that month, as we arrived 
opposite Fort Snelling w^e were hailed by two soldiers, with guns, • 
and ordered to land. As soon as our head line was made fast, 
one of the soldiers came on board and asked . me whether I was 
captain of the boat. I said, "Yes." "I have orders," said he, 
"to bring you to the fort." "Why?" I asked; and he replied, 
'T have no time to talk." Then we started on half a run up the 
bluff to the fort. When we arrived inside the gate we met Cap- 
tain Arnold, who said, "Captain, they are waiting very anxiously 
lor you in the next building." I knocked at the door, and it was 
oiK-ned by Governor Ramsey. Then I learned that the Indians 



had broken out and were murdering the settlers right and left. 
General Sibley was also present. The governor said, "We want 
you to make a quick trip to St. Paul, get arms and ammunition, 
and return to the fort." They gave me a detail of twenty men 
to assist. 

As soon as we landed in St. Paul, I went to the arsenal, and 
started the guns and boxes to the boat. My brother, H. Y. Bell, 
found ^Ir. Rider, and they went to the magazine, and got all the 
ammunition there, that being all there was in the city. We then 
started to the fort. I had arranged with General Sibley that 
when we arrived at Mendota island, I was to blow the whistle, to 
give him time to meet the boat on the landing. As soon as the 
general came, we started for the fort, received the troops on 
board, and went to Shakopee. On our arrival there, we landed 
all the soldiers except one company, and then went on up the 

When we rounded the point below Carver, a sight I shall 
never forget was seen. Men, women, and children, were on the 
bank of the river, many in their night clothes just as they left 
their beds to flee from the Indians. There was much rejoicing 
when they saw the boat had come to their relief. We went about 
three miles above Carver, there left the remaining soldiers, and 
then returned to Shakopee. 

The next spring we carried the supplies to Camp Pope, at 
the mouth of the Yellow :\Iedicine river, for General Sibley's 
troops. This was a dangerous trip, for Indians were seen along 
the bank of the river. We had a small guard of soldiers on 
board, and as we had not run at night we took the precaution to 
anchor the boat in the middle of the river. 




One of the most important events in the annals of our great 
Xorthwest was the opening to settlement of the Sioux lands west 
«>t the Mississippi river, which was effected by the treaties of Tra- 
verse des Sioux and ^Mendota in 185 1. 

Ten years prior, Gov. James Duane Doty of Wisconsin, un- 
der commission from the government, had concluded a treaty 
v.ith the same Indians for the cession of this same territory. This 
J^Jty treaty was signed by the Sisseton, Wahpeton and Wahpe- 
'KUta bands at Traverse des Sioux, then in the Territory of Iowa, 
July 31st, 1 84 1, and by the Medawakantons at ^Nlendota on the 
nth day of August following. By its terms, these tribes sold 
'ill their lands to the United States, except small designated por- 
*i'-ns thereof reserved for their homes. They were to receive 
tiicrefor stated annuities and to be taught the arts of civilization, 
•^ince their nomadic habits were to be exchanged for those of an 
''•r^'ricultural character: lands were to be allotted to them ja-s^vcr- 
^Ity, a hundred acres to each family; and citizenship could be 

•Itecd at ihe monthly meeting of the Executive Couaf-;i. Sept-rr>jei- \), 1901. 



conferred upon them after two years of probation. Tliey were to 
have a constitutional form of government, with a legislative body 
elected by themselves and a governor appointed by the general 
government. The traders and half-breeds among them were also 
to receive certain privileges and to have their claims paid. 

The object of this treaty was not to open the country for 
settlement, but primarily to provide a location for the Winnebago 
Indians, who, since the cession of their lands in 1837, had been on 
the government's hands under promise of a permanent home ; and, 
secondarily, to furnish reservations for a number of other tribes 
similarly situated. In short, it was designed to create of the 
Sioux country a second Indian Territory, into which to dump all 
the odds and ends of Indian tribes still left east of the Missis- 
sippi. Fortunately, however, this treaty failed of confirmation 
by the Senate, and thus this vast and fertile territory was saved 
to a grander destiny. 


Prior to 1850, very little was known by the people gener- 
ally about the Sioux country. No one but a few^ traders and an 
occasional explorer or missionary had ever seen its interior. In 
those ante-railroad days, the key to the whole region was the Min- 
nesota river, which was supposed to be unnavigable, except to the 
bark canoe of the Indian and the Mackinaw^ boat of the trader. 

The year 1850 v/as noted for a number of steamboat excur- 
sions up this river, which gave to the hundreds of people partici- 
pating, and through them to the whole country, a practical dem- 
onstration both of its navigability and of the wonderful beauty 
and fertility of the country it drained. The press of the country 
east and west was full of glowing accounts of this western para- 
dise. Everybody was talking about it, and thousands of home- 
seekers all over the land were eager to go up and possess it ; but 
to the people of the newly created territory of ]Minnesota, circum- 
scribed within the narrow and not over fertile land between the 
Mississippi and the St. Croix, the rich country beyond the river 
was indis])ensable. 

The Indians, alive to their own interest, and perhaps incited 
•thereto by the greater foresight of the traders, with the aid also 
•of the military, ^a-arded their lands with the utmost vigilance, and 



almost daily chased some daring squatter back over the Father of 

The situation at St. Paul and St. Anthony was growing daily 
more acute as the streams of immigration came pouring into them 
and there found their progress arrested. The voice of the peo- 
ple, thundered through Governor Ramsey and Congressman H. 
II.' Sibley and others, at last awoke the Washington authorities to 
action, and in the spring of 185 1 a commission, consisting of Gov. 
Alexander Ramsey and Col. Luke Lea, the then Commissioner of 
Indian Affairs, was appointed to treat with the Sioux for their 
lands. Both commissioners were men eminently fitted for the 
trust reposed in them, because of the confidence which their abil- 
ity, experience and honesty elicited in both white and red men. 


Traverse des Sioux, on the Minnesota, because of its cen- 
tral location, was chosen as the principal place for the treaty, and 
the steamer Excelsior was chartered to transport the commis- 
sioners with their attendants and supplies to this designated spot. 
Dr. Thomas Foster of St. Paul was appointed secretary of the 
commission, and x\lexis Bailly, of Prairie du Chien, had charge 
of the commissary department. 

On Saturday, June 28th, 1851, the Excelsior, with Commis- 
sioner Lea on board, arrived at St. Paul, and next morning pro- 
ceeded to Mendota, where the party was joined by a number of 
traders and Sioux chiefs of the Lower bands. Here also a drove 
of cattle, and other things necessary for the subsistence of the 
commission and the many Indians expected at the treaty, were 
taken on board. 

At Fort Snelling, Governor Ramsey joined the party; but 
a company of dragoons, who were to accompany the commission 
as a guard, were not ready. The boat departed without them, 
nor, owing to the good behavior of the Indians, were their ser- 
vices once needed. 

The river, in consequence of recent heavy rains, was except 
tionally high, overflowing all the lowlands, so that its true chan- 
nel in many places was hard to follow. At sunrise of Monday 
(June 30th) the boat reached its destination, and, quickly un- 
loading passengers and cargo, departed down stream. 



Traverse des Sioux, being the French translation of its Da- 
kota name "Oiyuwega" (crossing), was then, and from time im- 
memorial had been, the most important point on the Minnesota. 
The excellent river crossing there found, together with its posi- 
tion where the great forest of the east and the vast plains of the 
west naturally met, where the Blue Earth and its tributaries were 
conveniently accessible, and where the headwaters of the I\Iin- 
nesota and Red rivers could be reached by a short cut over land, 
made Traverse des Sioux the natural capital of the Sioux coun- 

The place had been occupied by traders from a very early 
period, as early, at least, as the last half of the eighteenth century, 
when the father of Jack Frazer and others had trading posts 
there. Louis Provencalle had maintained a trading post there 
from about 1815 until his death in February, 1851, and his sons 
continued in the business until a year or two later. Other trading 
places had been also kept there, and in the near vicinity, off and 
on, by Philander Prescott since 1823, by Alexander Faribault 
since 1825, and by Alexander Graham since 1849. Nearly all of 
these traders were in some way connected with the xA-merican 
Fur Company. 

At this same point was a mission station of the American 
Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions, founded for the 
Dakotas by Rev. Stephen R. Riggs in 1843, but which most of the 
time had been in charge of Alessrs. Robert Hopkins and x\lex- 
andcr G. Huggins and their wives, Hopkins having settled there 
in the spring of 1844, and Huggins, on the departure of Mr. 
Riggs, in the fall of 1846. 

The neatly painted school building of this mission, the resi-. 

■ dences of the two missionaries, and of the trader Alexander Gra- 
ham, four old log store buildings, with dilapidated log stables 
in their rear, the trading establishments of Provencalle, Fari- 
bault, and others, scattered along the hillside, two or three cabins 

, of the French voyageurs, and some twenty to thirty Indian lodges, 
comprised all there was of Traverse des Sioux when the com- 
missioners landed there. 

The spot selected for the commissioners' camp was at the 
brow of the second bench above the river, by a little old French 
cemetery, about twenty rods south of's store, on land 



t!iat was platted as Blocks 33 and 34, Traverse des Sioux. Few, 
even now, know the precise spot, and the site of so important a 
liistorical event should be marked by an appropriate monument 
i rc it is lost forever. 

Here, around the cemetery just mentioned (no trace of 
which remains today), the commission pitched seven white tents; 
r.iul just north of a small natural ditch a council chamber was 
erected of poles covered with leafy branches of trees, with a plat- 
form of rough boards at its farther end for the commissioners' 
stand, and wnth board seats ranged along the sides, for the au- 
• licnce. Two old log buildings of the Fur Company, which Gov- 
ernor Doty had occupied when making his treaty, and which 
stood a few rods south of the cemetery, were appropriated for a 
kitchen and store-room. 

In a treaty with the whites, the part played by the Indians 
is always more in appearance than in fact. The Sioux at that 
time comprising many wandering bands of savages, wholly inde- 
pendent of each other, and with scarcely a semblance of govern- 
ment, even in their respective bands, had hardly more capacity 
for public business than so many children. Thoughtless and in- 
different of the future and of everything pertaining to their na- 
tional welfare, they were only moved singly by the impulse of the 
moment. A gaudy toy or a savory mess of food satisfied their 
wants. A few^ of their wisest chiefs might rise to nobler thoughts 
and purposes, but little heed was paid to them, unless they fol- 
lowed the wishes of their braves. 

To get sufficient interest in such a people to come to a treaty 
at all was no small undertaking, and, when they had come, to 
make them comprehend its eitect, was a still greater task. There 
had been, how^ever, for nearly a century, growing up among the 
Indians a class of people called "traders," mostly of French or 
Scotch descent, many of whom, as well as of their numerous em- 
ployees, had intermarried with the Indians. These and their de- 
scendants, at the time of the treaty, because of their superior in- 
telligence and social position, formed the most influential class 
?mong the Sioux. As a rule, the traders were men of character 
and capacity, who merited the Indian confidence, though there 
v.cre exceptions. To ensure the success of the treaty, it was ab- 
solutely nccessarv to enlist all these men in its favor, for it was 



only through them that the Indians could be reached. 

There were certain reasons, which inclined both trader and 
Indian to favor a treaty. The first and most important was the 
disappearance of game due to (a) the introduction of firearms 
and other superior weapons of civilization among the natives, (b) 
the advent of white hunters with their greater skill and aggres- 
siveness in hunting, and (c) the creation of the Fur Company, 
giving an incentive to the quest for furs wholly unknown in the 
days of undisturbed savagery. 

Hence the buflfaloes, which on the first advent of the whites 
roamed in countless thousands over the entire Northwest, and 
which, as late as the latter half of the eighteenth century, were 
common in all the valleys and upon all the prairies of ^Minnesota, 
by 1 85 1 had been driven to its western border exclusively. The 
beaver, which formerly swarmed along every stream and in 
every pond throughout the land, also had become almost extinct, 
while the deer, the bear, and game of all sorts, were fast disap- 
pearing before the advancing tide of civilization. The results 
were a diminished food and clothing supply for the Indian and a 
decrease of business for the trader. This was slightly modified 
by the cultivation of more corn by the Indian and constant ex- 
tension of trade to new territory by the trader. Still the poverty 
and misery of the Indian were continually growing, and the ex- 
tinction of the trader's occupation was but a question of time. It 
may have been this condition, as well as the taste they had got of 
government annuities, which induced the eastern bands to favor 
a treaty more than the western bands. 

As a second reason, it was evident to both trader and Indian 
that the encroachments of the white race were irresistible, and that 
a disposition of their lands by a favorable treaty would be much 
better than a forcible eviction. But the traders had been long in 
the country, and had acquired business interests there which the 
treaty would destroy, so that one would suppose that they, as . 
well as the Indians, should be compensated directly for the injury 
done them. This was deemed impracticable, however, and, as 
their hearty support and co-operation were absolutely essential, 
an indirect method of enlisting their favor was devised. 

The Sioux, because of their necessities, had been in the habit 
of obtaining credit each year from the traders on the strength of 
the coming season's hunt, which obligations they hardly ever were 
able to fulfill, until there had accumulateed against them on every 



trader's books a very large sum, equivalent in some cases to a 
fair-sized fortune. It was proposed, therefore, to pay these debts 
to the traders out of the first cash annuities the Indians should 
receive, which arrangement was satisfactory to the traders, and 
their efficient help was thus secured. 

The commissioners had expected to find the Indians as- 
sembled ready for council, but the season was exceptionally wet 
and all the streams and sloughs were flooded, rendering travel in 
a wild country very difficult, and this, together with the Indian's 
natural indifference, had deterred all the distant bands from com- 
ing. It was nearly three weeks before the traders and their cour- 
iers could bring all these remote and scattered people together. 
The time was well employed, however, by the commissioners in 
acquainting themselves with Indian character and needs, and by 
the traders in creating a pro-treaty sentiment among the gather- 
mg hordes. 

The Indians busied themselves each day with some national 
pastime or superstitious rite, much to the entertainment of the 
whites. A big ball game between the young men of rival bands, 
or by two companies of young squaws, would be the attraction one 
day ; a grand wedding, a virgin feast, dramatic representations of 
hunting scenes and savage warfare, and, because of the terrific 
thunder-storms then prevalent, a big dance held to appease the 
storm god by breaking the wing of the Thunder-bird, — each, in 
its turn, varied the daily program of genuine savage life here 


With the commission had come ]Mr. James Goodhue, the 
first editor in Minnesota, a writer of much ability, whose daily 
articles of correspondence to his paper, the 'Tioneer," not only 
contain a detailed account of the making of the great treaty, but 
are vivid, also, with graphic descriptions of the Indian life about 

With the commission had also come M'r. Frank Blackwell 
Mayer, an artist of considerable merit, from the state of ^lary- 
land, who busied himself each day in sketching Indian counten- 
ances and costumes. His painting of the signing of the treaty, 
after a sketch made on the spot, is one of the most valued trcas- 
vires of this Historical Society, affording a fine study for a great 




historical painting of an event the most momentous, as it was the 
most picturesque, in the history of our great Northwest. 

Thus, fortunately, pen and pencil have preserved for us that 
memorable event, when Savager\', surrounded by thousands of 
her sons, surrendered in peaceful council her choicest domain to 


On Friday morning, July i8th, most of the Indians having 
arrived, the council met for its first session. After the com- 
missioners had informed the Indians at length of the wishes of 
the government, a recess was taken until next day to give the 
Dakotas opportunity to discuss them. 

On Saturday, the pre-arranged signal of the firing of guns 
having been given, the council re-assembled, but the Indians were 
not disposed to talk. 

Finally Wee-chan-hpee-ee-tay-toan (Having the face of a 
star), called the "Orphan" by the whites, head-chief of the Sis- 
setons from lake Traverse, rose and complained that some of his 
young men, on the way to the treaty, had been turned back by the 
whites. Governor Ramsey, in explanation, stated that the com- 
missioners had waited as long as they could, since other business 
demanded their attention, and the food supply was getting short. 
This did not satisfy Eesh-ta-hen-ba (Sleepy Eyes), a prominent 
Sisseton chief of the Swan Lake band, who personally was bit- 
terly opposed to the treaty. Rising, he addressed the commission : 
"Fathers, your coming and asking me for my country makes me 
sad, and your saying that I am not able to do anything with my 
country makes me still more sad." He then alluded to the young 
braves who had been turned back, as his "near relatives," and 
declared his intention to leave the council, upon which his war- 
riors raised a tumult, which broke up that session. 

At this critical moment the commissioners promptly pro- 
claimed that whether a treaty was made or not was immaterial to 
the whites, and that, since the Dakotas were not disposed to treat, 
the matter would be dropped. Orders were given to issue no 
more rations to the Indians, but to strike the tents and be ready 
for departure in the morning. 

This decisive action had the desired effect, for the great ma- 


^ 109 

jority of the Indians were now really in favor of the treaty, be- 
cause of its promised rewards; and such older chiefs as Sleepv 
Eye and Red Iron dared not oppose the wish of their young men. 
I-lence before night a delegation from the Indians waited on the 
commissioners, begging them to remain, as the Dakotas wished a 

The council, therefore, resumed its sittings on ]\ionday noon, 
when, after an apology from Sleepy Eye for his conduct on Sat- 
urday, Oo-pee-ya-hed-ay-a (Extending Tail), a Wahpeton chief, 
commonly called "Curly Head" by the whites, acting as spokes- 
man for the Indians, requested a written statement of the pro- 
posed treaty, that his people might the better understand and dis- 
cuss it in their private councils. This was granted, and an ad- 
journment was taken until the next day to give opportunity for 
the private deliberations. 

The Indians met for this purpose at the wigwam of Chief 
Takara (The Enemy) on the top of the bluff, back of the comx- 
missioners' tents. At seven o'clock the next morning, the council 
rc-assembled, and Eyangmani (Running v/alker), known to the 
whites as "Big Gun," head chief of the Wahpetons, handed to the 
commissioners a paper containing certain amendments to the 
treaty proposed by the Indians. Another adjournment was taken, 
to give both parties time to consider and settle points still in dis- 
pute, and to have the secretary frame the final document in proper 

It required an all night session of the secret Indian council to 
adjust matters, and the ultimatum of the commissioners was not 
fully agreed to until only half an hour before the important doc- 
ument was signed. 

^Ir. Goodhue, an eye witness of the final scene on Wednes- 
day, July 23rd, 1851, thus wrote of it: 

This is the day fixed by the Grand Council, at which the treaty is to be 
signed. Clouds cover the horizon, and the sun has a struggle to unveil his 
face, to see what is going on. The Indians, it is said, have been in council 
the whole night upon the upper terrace ; and messengers between them and 
cur camp have 'been going to and fro continually. The proposition made by 
the Indians yesterday, fails to secure the entire approbation of the com- 
missioners. The resolve of Col. Lea and Gov. Ram.^ey both, unreservedly 
stated, is to make a treaty simple in its provisions, but which shall compre- 
hend more extensively than Indian treaties have usually done, civilization 
and improvement features, that will secure to the Indians substantial and 


enduring benefits in all time to come. Finally, I understand, things are sat- 
isfactorily adjusted, and the Secretary is now engrossing the treaty for sig- 
nature. Ever>-body is busy. The Indians are gathering around, male and 
female, all in high paint and feather. The corner in which the event is to 
take place, is being piled up with goods and presents of various kinds — here 
a huge pile of various colored blankets, there red and blue cloths, looking- 
glasses and ribbons, powder and lead, and hundreds of other items of 
utility or fancy. At 12 o'clock the weather having cleared and the sun shin- 
ing brightly, the commissioners took their seats ; and after a grand smoke 
from Col. Lea's magnificent Eyanshah pipe, the council was opened by 
Col. Lea. 

After his short address, Secretary Foster read aloud the 
English copy of the treaty ; and Rev. S. R. Riggs, the author of 
the Dakota Lexicon and then a missionary to the Sioux at Lac 
Qui Parle, who was one of the interpreters of the commission, 
read a translation of the same in Dakota. 

At this point. Sleepy Eye arose and stated that some pro- 
vision should be made to give his people help by the time the year 
got to be white, as they would be very hungry then. He then went 
off in a wandering speech, claiming that the sums to be paid to the 
Indians by the treaty were insuf^icient. He was finally called to 
order by the commission, as all the terms of the treaty had been 
agreed to, so that further discussion was out of place. 


After a short pause, Colonel Lea signed the treaty first, and 
Governor Ramsey second. Then the chiefs of the Wahpeton and 
Sisseton bands came forward to the Secretary's table, and affixed 
their signatures, beginning with "Big Gun," head chief of the 
Wahpetons, followed by the ''Orphan," head chief of the Sisse- 
tons. The latter, when about to sign, said : "Fathers, Now, when 
I sign this paper, and you go to Washington with it, I want you 
to see all that is written here fulfilled. I have grown old, without 
whiskey, and I want you to take care that it does not come among 

As chief "Curly Head" signed, he remarked : "Fathers, You 
think it a great deal you are giving for this country. I don't 
think so; for both our lands and all we get for them, will at last 
belong to the white man. The money comes to us, but will all go 
to the white men who trade with us." 



After the chiefs, the principal men of each band were called 
forward and signed also, and each as he signed was presented 
with a medal. A number of the Indians had been taught by the 
missionaries to read and write" their own language. These sub- 
scribed their own names to the paper. 

THE traders' paper. 

At the same time the Indians signed a second paper, at a 
table improvised from an old barrel and presided over by Joseph 
R. Brown and Martin McLeod, which authorized the payment out 
of their annuities of the claims due the traders. A year later they 
attempted to repudiate this document. 

speeches and presents. 

After the signing, speeches were made by Colonel Lea and 
Governor Ramsey, giving much good advice to the Indians. The 
council concluded by a grand distribution of presents by the 
Sioux Agent, Nathaniel McLean, and the special purchasing 
agent of the commission, Hugh Tyler. 

Next morning the United States flag, which had waved 
proudly in the breezes of Traverse des Sioux for twenty-five days, 
was lowered, the tents were folded and the baggage packed, the 
cattle and provisions w^ere left, turned over to the Indians for a 
final feast, and at i : 30 p. m. the party of the commission em- 
barked in a Mackinaw boat in charge of General Sibley for Men- 
dota and St. Paul. 

white men present. 

The names of the white people present at the treaty as far as 
known were : Gov. Alexander Ramsey, Col. Luke Lea, Dr. Thom- 
as Foster, Gen. Henry H. Sibley, Nathaniel McLean, Major 
Joseph R. Brown, Colonel Henderson, James H. Lockwood, 
Hugh Tyler, William H. Forbes, James M. Goodhue, editor of 
"The Pioneer," Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, Dr. Thomas S. William- 
son, Alexander G. Huggins, Martin McLeod. Henry Jackson. A. 
S. White, Wallace B. White, Alexis Baiily, Kenneth ^^IcKeiizie. 
H. L. Dousman, Richard Chute and wife, Franklin Steele, F. 
Brown, William Hartshorn, Gen. William G. LeDuc, Alexander 




Faribault, Joseph La Framboise, Frank B. Zvlayer, and ^^lessrs. 
Lord and Boury. To these should be added the families of the 
missionaries, Hopkins and Huggins, and some French voyageurs. 


On the 5th of August, the commissioners met the Medawak- 
anton and W'ahpekuta bands in council on Pilot Knob, ^lendota, 
and a duplicate of the Traverse des Sioux treaty, with necessary 
modifications, was signed by them. 


By these treaties the Sioux ceded to the United States the 
part of r^Iinnesota and South Dakota west of the Alississippi river 
and extending as far north as a line drawn from the mouth of 
the Watab river, above St. Cloud, to the mouth of Buffalo river, 
just north of ^Moorhead, and reaching on the west to a line drawn 
from the mouth of Buffalo river south along the Red and Bois 
des Sioux rivers, now the western boundary of ^Minnesota, to the 
south end of lake Traverse, thence southwest to the juncture of 
Kampeska lake with the Sioux river just above Watertown, and 
thence down said river to where it is intersected by the parallel of 
latitude forming the south boundary of our State, just below 
Sioux Falls. Within this tract, however, large reservations ex- 
tending along the ^vlinnesota river were excepted as described 

The ceded lands also embraced a part of northern Iowa, 
north of the Rock river, together with the country around Esther- 
ville, Emmetsburg, and Algona, and extending eastward by Os- 
age almost to Cresco. 

The cession comprised over 19,000,000 acres in ^linnesota, 
nearly 3,000,000 acres in Iowa, and over 1,750,000 acres in South 
Dakota, making in all nearly 24,000,000 acres of the choicest land 
on the globe. 


As consideration for this rich and vast domain, it was stip- 
ulated that the upper bands should receive $1,665,000, to be paid 
as follows: Money to the chiefs, $275,000; Money for agricul- 




tural purposes, $30,000; The remaining $1,360,000 to be held in 
trust by the government, interest thereon only to be paid to the 
Indians at the rate of five per cent, yearly, com.mencing July ist, 
1852, and continuing thereafter for fifty years. 

j'"Jhis interest, amounting each year to $68,000, was to be ap- 
plied as follows: (a) x\gricultural purposes, $12,000: (b) Edu- 
cational purposes, S6,ooo; (c) Goods and provisions, $10,000; 
(d) Mone>-, $40,000. 

The lower bands were to receive $1,410,000, to be paid in the 
following manner. ^^loney to chiefs, $220,000; Money for agri- 
cultural purposes, $30,000; The remaining $1,160,000, to be held 
in trust by the government, interest only to be paid to the Indians 
at the rate of five per cent., comm.encing July ist, 1852, and an- 
nually thereafter for fifty years, and to be applied as follows : 
(a) Agricultural purposes, $12,000; (b) Educational purposes, 
$6,000; (c) Goods and provisions, $10,000; and (d) ^loney, 

It was provided by a distinct article of the treaty, that no 
liquor should be sold to the Indians. 

Another article provided that the Sisseton and Wahpeton 
bands should have a perpetual reservation ten miles vride on each 
side of the ^linnesota river, extending from the western bound- 
ary of the ceded lands to Hawk creek and the Yellow ^fedicine 
river; and the 3.[edawakanton and Wahpekuta bands received a 
like reservation of the same width continuing down the ^linnesota 
to the Little Rock river and to a line drawn south from its mouth 
to the Cottonwood river. 

Most of the money items designated for the chiefs were real- 
ly to pay the claims of traders, and were so applied in accordance 
^^■'ith the written stipulation made, as we stated, at the same time 
as the treaty. 

It was assumed that at the expiration of the fifty years period 
the Dakotas would all be sufficiently civilized so as to need no fur- 
ther annuities, and the trust funds above mentioned were th.-n to 
revert to the government. 


When the treaty came to be considered by the Senate on 
July 26th, 1852, the article giving the tracts described as perman- 


'cnt reservations to the Indians was modified, making them tem- 
porary, and promising to pay ten cents an acre for them when 
other reservations should be designated. 

The treaties made at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota, thus 
amended, were returned to Governor Ramsey, to be again signed 
hy the Indians. The Lower bands at first objected, but finallv 
on Saturday, September 4th, 1852, signed the amended article?, 
at Governor Ramsev's residence in St. Paul : and on the followino- 
Monday, at the same place, the chiefs of the Upper bands also 

The treaties as amended were proclaimed by President Fill- 
more on February 24th, 1853. 

Subsequently, however, the Senate reconsidered the article 
relating to the reservations, and by an act of July 31st, 1854, the 
treaties were allowed to stand as originally made. 


As soon as the amended treaties were signed by the Indians, 
the money for the first payment was forwarded to Governor Ram- 
sey, and he repaired to Traverse des Sioux to pay the Upper 
"bands on November 12th, 1852, in company with Agent McLean. 
Major Joseph R. Brown, interpreter, H. H. Sibley, Dr. Foster, 
Hugh Tyler, Benjamin Thompson, C. D. Fillmore, brother of 
President Fillmore, who was then lumber agent for Minnesota, 
and a number of traders, among whom were H. L. Dousman, 
Alexis Bailly, and ^Martin ]\IcLeod. 


Governor Ramsey found the Indians in an ugly mood, be- 
cause some $220,000 of their money was to be paid to traders and 
half-breeds under the written agreement signed at the time of the 
treaty. The Indians, however, repudiated this agreement, and 
asserted that it was a base fraud, that, as they were told and be- 
lieved at the time, the paper they signed was represented to be 
only another copy of the treaty, and that they did not discover its 
real import, and the trick played upon them, until long afterward. 

The agitation against the payment of these claims was in- 
stigated mostly by the whites, and came from three sources : trad- 



ers who were jealous because they were allowed no share in the 
spoil; politicians of opposite faith to the party in power, which 
negotiated the treaty; and persons who honestly believed, from 
the reports circulated, that the Indians were wronged. 

The leader of the opposition, on the part of the whites, was 
one Madison Sweetser, of Fort Wayne, Ind., and, on the part of 
the Indians, Red Iron, a Sisseton chief of the Traverse des Sioux 
band. Red Iron organized his band of braves into a soldiers' 
lodge, and for a few days after the arrival of Governor Ramsey 
for the payment, affairs assumed a threatening aspect at 'The 
Crossing." The Governor promptly sent for troops from Fort 
Snelling, and on November 19th Capt. James Monroe arrived 
with forty infantry and five dragoons, and Red Iron was at once 
arrested and put in jail until his soldiers' lodge was broken and 
the payments allowed to proceed. 


The opposition then carried their case into the United States 
Senate, which, being now Democratic, w'as not adverse to airing 
any short-comings in the late administration of their Whig op- 
ponents. An investigating committee was appointed, and the ev- 
idence was fully sifted before Judge Richard M. Young, of Illi- 
nois, during the summer of 1853, St. Paul. 

As the result of the investigation, it w^as shown that, al- 
though some of the Indians might not have fully understood the 
traders' paper which they signed, and although some of the trad- 
ers had doubtless padded their claims, the commissioners had 
acted with the utmost honesty and good faith in the matter. Ac- 
cordingly they were fully exonerated, even by a Senate politically 
ht;stile to them. 


In 1858, a question was raised as to the title of the Sioux to 
their reservations because of the Senate's pecuHar action in pass- 
ing on that article of the treaty. Tlie query was instigated mainly 
by Joeseph R. Brown, who had located on a large tract of this 
Sioux land north of the Minnesota river. Through his media- 
tion an agreement was finally made at Washington by the chiefs 


on June 19th, 1858, whereby the portion of their reservations 
south of the river was confirmed to them, with a further provision 
added that all so desiring should have eighty-acre farms allotted 
to them in severalty, with government aid in erecting suitable 
buildings and procuring necessary cattle and machinery; and, 
to further induce the Indians to take up with this agricultural life, 
they were to be paid wages for their labor in addition to what 
produce they raised. The portions "of the reservations north of 
the river was ceded to the government for a consideration to be 
paid to the Indians, provided the Senate found their title thereto 
valid, which it did by act of June 27th, i860. 

The main result of this 1858 agreement, as Major Brov;n 
evidently anticipated, was the opening to white settlement of that 
northern half of the Sioux reservations. 


Thus matters stood until the sudden crash of the awful 
massacre in August, 1862, which led to the passage of an act Feb- 
ruary 1 6th, 1863, whereby all the rights and claims of the Sioux 
under these treaties, not consummated, were abrogated and an- 
nulled, their reservations decreed to be sold, and themselves to be 
deported forever beyond the confines of their ancient home. 


Glancing backward over the half century since this great 
treaty was made, we behold most marvelous results. 

Instead of the solitary wilderness of tangled forest and 
swampy plain, we see, over all the land, cultivated farms, seamed 
everywhere with the avenues of commerce. Instead of a few re- 
mote clusters of smoking wigwams, we see a country thickly dot- 
ted with pretty homesteads and magnificent marts of trade. 

Instead of eight thousand half starved, half naked savages, 
eking out a miserable existence in ignorance and filth, we see a 
million happy people, beaming with intelligence and blessed with 
abundance. Instead of the exportation of a few furs, we see a 
land contributing from its fullness the value of millions of dol- 
lars in food products to all the nations of the earth. 



The wheels of industry have broken the idle stillness, and 
son^s of peace and praise have succeeded the horrors of the war- 
whoop and the fiendish notes of the war-dance. In short, we see 
enacted before us in a few short years the miracle of Christian 

Hardly had the ink dried on the treaty paper, before the set- 
tlers began to pour into the country, and, long before the gov- 
ernment had approved the act, dozens of towns had been planted, 
and hundreds of claims had been located, all along the Mississ- 
ippi and Minnesota valleys. 

Soon after the ratification of the treaty, the Indians were re- 
moved to their reservations, upon whose eastern boundarv' Fort 
Ridgely was established in the spring of 1853 for the protection 
of the frontier. 

The regular transportation of supplies for both soldiers and 
Indians to the upper ^linnesota stimulated greatly the navigation 
of that river, and necessitated the construction of military roads, 
both being results of inestimable value to the pioneer in the early 
development of the country. 

The yearly payments to the Indians of such large annuities 
greatly increased the money circulation of the territory, and en- 
couraged trade in those trying days of frontiei life. 

These good results, however, were not unmixed with evil. 
The actual surrender of his country to the white man was a try- 
ing ordeal to the Dakota, as it violated every patriotic sentiment 
of his being. To see himself thrust out of the home of his fath- 
ers, endeared by many a tender association, and in the defense of 
which he had spilt his blood so freely, naturally awakened in his 
breast feelings of bitter regret and jealousy. The restraints of an 
agency life were most irksome to a liberty-loving people, like the 
Dakotas, accustomed to rove at their own sweet will, and to pass 
their days in the excitement of the chase or the glory of war. 

Again, to a people who had always been taught to regard any 
labor other than hunting and war as unmanly, an agency, with 
its annuity system, practically meant a life of idleness and de- 
pendence, a condition directly tending to degeneracy. The put- 
^'"g, also, of large sums of money into the hands of ignorant 
!^avages, who had as little conception of its value, or how to spend 




it, as so many children, rendered them a tempting prey to dishon- 
est white men, who took every advantage of their weakness and 

But the evil which proved the most disastrous of all to the 
whites was the concentration of so many savages at one point, 
for thus not only were their evil propensities fostered and culti- 
vated by idleness, contamination, and constant agitation of their 
grievances, while better opportunity was afforded them to plot 
mischief, but thus, also, were they enabled, when, owing to the 
exigences of the Civil War, there was a distressing delay in the 
payment of their annuities, and when the necessary restraining 
military force was prematurely withdrawn, to sweep down with 
the power of an avalanche upon our helpless frontier, in the awful 
massacre of 1862. 

The most of these evils, however, were due, not so much to 
the treaty, as to untoward circumstances in carrying it out, and to 
unavoidable necessity, since it was impossible for the Indian and 
his land to remain as they were, and since civilization and sav- 
agery cannot long remain in contact without irritation, as they are 
naturally antagonistic. But these few evils, even if indirectly at- 
tributable to the treaty, pale before the noontide splendor of its 
good results as seen in the light of today. Had the treaty been 
faithfully kept, and had its provisions been allowed their natural 
truition, the evils, doubtless, would have been mostly averted 
and the results might have been still more glorious. 

Be that as it may, yet even the terrible Indian massacre was 
not an unmitigated evil. That rude shock broke the thick crust 
of heathendom about many a Dakota heart, and in the great 
prison revivals at Mankato and Fort Snelling, in the winter of 
1862-3, the seeds of a new life planted by the faithful missionaries 
began to be manifested, which by today has transformed the mis- 
erable savage of forty years ago into an intelligent, thrifty citizen, 
a noble Christian character. 

In view, therefore, of all its splendid results, we conclude 
that this treaty, which the first governor of our great Common- 
wealth, today the honored president of our Historical Society, 
took such conscientious pains in framing, with his wortliy col- 
league, the signing of which was such a signal triumph of peace- 
ful diplomacy, and which has added to civilization such a magni- 



ficent domain, is an event second to none in our history, and is in- 
deed well worthy the commemoration of a grateful posterity. 


The treaties made by Governor Doty in July, 1841, and by 
Colonel Lea and Governor Ramsey in July, 1851, though dififer- 
ing widely in their main purposes and methods, yet had many 
points in common. Not only were both made at the same place, 
with the same Indians, for the purchase of the same lands, but 
hoth contained special features looking to the civilization of the 
Indian. It is curious to note further that both were made under 
Whig administrations, the former under President Tyler, and 
the latter under President Fillmore, both of w^hom had come to 
the executive chair under very similar circumstances. 

While Governor Doty's scheme for the civilization and gov- 
ernment of the Indians was doubtless very Utopian, still these 
features would likely have been amended and the treaty confirmed, 
had it not been sent to the Senate just when the unfortunate strife 
between the President and his own party was at its height, and 
only a few days before the resignation of the cabinet, including 
the Hon. John Bell, secretary of war, under whose special direc- 
tion the treaty had been negotiated. In the turmoil of that hour, 
it is no wonder that such an unimportant matter then as an In- 
dian treaty should be neglected by the Whigs, and in those days 
of bitter partisanship it could not be expected that the Democratic 
party would favor any measure which had originated with a 
Whi^ administration. 

To show something of the nature of the Doty treaty, and the 
manner of its reception at the time, I append a few clippings from 
the newspapers of that period, kindly furnished me by Mr. R. G. 
Thwaites, the secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society. 


From the Madison Express, September i, 1841. 

Governor Doty arrived in town on Monday evening last from the 
Indian country in the West, where he had gone for tlie purpose of treating 
with the Dakota Indians for some land on which to settle the eastern and 
northern Indians. We have had no conversation with the Governor on 
this subject since his arrival, but from the extract of a letter from Mindota, 



which we publish to-day, it will be seen that his excellency has effected a 
treaty with the western bands of the Dakota Indians for about thirty mil- 
lions of acres of land, and that a great number of that nation have aho 
agreed to settle on the land. ' This plan of civilizing the Indians strikes us 
as the best which has yet been proposed to attain that desirable object, 
How much preferable is tins plan, to civilize the Indians and make good 
and useful citizens of them, to invading their country and with fire and 
sword sweep them from the face of the earth. It is supposed by many that 
tiie Indian cannot be civilized. This we do not believe. But to overrun 
their country, and burn and destroy their dwellings and crops, and kill their 
cattle, and suffer them to be cheated by dishonest traders, is certainly not 
the way to civilize them. If this great object (the civilization of the 
Indians) can be effected, that man, or body of men. who have been, or will 
be, instrumental in any way in the accomplishment of this great work, 
deserve and will receive the approbation and blessings of countless thous- 
ands of the human race, both Indians and whites. 

The following is an extract of a letter to a gentleman in this town, 

Mindota, August 7, 1841. 

Dear Sir — Gov. Doty has returned to this place, having succeeded 
in effecting a treaty with the western bands of Indians of the Dakota 
Nation for about thirty milUons of acres, for a territory for the eastern 
and northern Indians. Upwards of five thousand Indians of that nation 
have also agreed to settle as agriculturists on the tract. 

The administration has wisely adopted the plan of giving to each 
Indian who becomes a settler and cultivates his farm, the title to one 
hundred acres of land after two years ; and if he is then civilized, he 
may enroll his name with the Governor, and become a citizen of the 
United States. But the land thus granted cannot be transferred to white 
men in any way, and can only descend to Indian blood. There ars 
many other important features in the treaty, of great advantage to the 
Indians. leading them on to civilization, and which will mark the policy 
of this administration from that which has heretofore deprived this prim- 
itive race of all civil and political rights and privileges. 

The western bands were much gratified to see Gov. Doty in their 
country, and gave him a very cordial welcome as an old friend. Several 
lumdred guns, loaded with ball, were discharged over his head and around 
him on his arrival at Oeyoowora. 120 miles west of this, and many more 
on his departure. Indeed they expressed in every possible manner their 
satisfaction with the views and intentions of government. 

From the Madison Express, September 8, 1841. 

Highly Important Indian Tre.nty. 
An Indian Tekkitokal Government. 
A friend at Prairie du Chien has furnished us with the particulars 



of an arrangement with the Sioux Indians, which, we im.agine, will here- 
after excite a good deal of speculation. It seems to be the intention of the 
Government to establish an INDIAN TERRITORY, north of the St. 
Peter's River, with limited legislative oowers, to be governed much as 
our Territories are governed now — the General Government to appoint the 
Governor, and the Indians to choose the council; — in a word, to change' 
the habits of the Indians from those of the roving hunter, to the quiet 
agriculturist, and to place over them the voluntary restraints of civil 
law, in the stead of their present chieftain vassalage. It is possible that 
the thing may be successfully done — it is worthy of an effort — but we are 
.skeptical as to the result. It will be a difficult matter to break up with 
the Indians their present mode of government by chiefs, and to trans- 
form them into quiet citizens, capable of exercising the elective franchise 
— and equally so to make them 'bury the hatchet,' and 'learn war no more.' . 
However, the Government can try the experiment, particularly as the 
Indians are to pay for their tuition at the cost of tivenfy-five millions of 
acres of land.. We are likewise bound to respect the feeling of real phil- 
anthropy which has prompted this movement. 

Gov. Doty, we understand, has been the sole agent of the Government 
in the formation of this treaty, and will receive all due credit for his con- 
duct. He arrived at Prairie du Chien from St. Peter's on the 26th ult., 
in a skiff, accompanied by his lady. 

The following is the letter of our correspondent: — 

"Gov. Doty has been for some weeks among the Sioux Indians, 
and the report is, that he has purchased all the country south of the St. 
Peter's River and east of a line due south from its source, containing about 
25.000,000 acres. The Sioux reserve some 300,000 or 400,000 acres for 
which they are to cultivate the soil — the Government furnishing them with 
farmers to instruct them. On this purchased land are to be settled some 
50.000 or more of other Indians from the east of the Mississippi, all cf 
whom, combined with the Sioux, are to form, an 'Indian Territory,' the 
Governor to be appointed by the General Government, and they to elect 
men to a Council to make laws for their own government. 

''Three Forts are to be established within the district, to preserve peace 
among them, and to protect them from foreign invasion. Probably as 
much of the purchase af falls within the State of Iowa will be sold to 
be settled by the whites; but that portion of it which lies north of the 
State will be occupied as above described. 

''The Governor has discovered bituminous coal and copper on the St. 
Peter's, to which steamboats can ascend, specimens of which are nov^r at 
Prairie du Chien. 

"This arrangement will throw a large body of Indians upon our 
iniiuediate frontier; but ilie effort that will be made to civilize them is 
deemed a sufficient guarantee of their peaceable deportment. And the 
n^oney expended by and for the troops, together with the Indian annuities, 
will supply us with a circulating medium, and, to some extent, a market 


for our surplus produce; all of which will contribute to the settlement and 
improvement of our country." 

We give the above information as it has been received from a 
respectable source, vouching no further for its correctness. — Galena Ga- 

From the Madison Express, September 22, 1841. 

[From the Missouri Republicart.] ' 
Treaty with the Indians. 

Some time ago, when informed that Gov. Doty, of Wiskonsan, had 
concluded a treaty for the purchase of a large tract of country from the 
Indians, we did not credit the report, for we were unaware of his having 
been appointed to make such a treaty. We, however, yesterday received a 
letter from Fort Snelling which informs us that Governor Doty has just 
returned to that place from the Indian country. 

Our informant appears to be conversant with the substance of the 
treaty and the purposes. From him we learn that a treaty was concluded 
by Governor Doty with the western bands of the Dakota nation, on 
the 31st July, at a place called Oeyoowora, 120 miles west of the Falls 
of St. Anthony, for a district of country which is hereafter to compose 
an Indian Territory-, to be occupied by the Indians now in the Eastern 
and Northern States and Territories. The purchase embraces the valley 
of the Minnesota river (St. Peter's) and its tributaries; and there is not 
a better tract of land or a more healthy climate in the west. Missouri 
and Arkansaw will now be relieved from the presence of any more 
emigrating Indians on their western borders, and to them this new 
measure of the Secretary of War is of great importatnce. The country 
acquired is sufficiently large to accommodate fifty thousand settlers with 
farms of one hundred acres each. Besides, advantages are secured to 
them which have never been granted heretofore. Among others, the 
fulfillment of the promise that Indians, when civilized, may hold the 
title to real estate, and become citizens of the United States. Unless 
these privileges are granted to the Indians, every other effort which is 
made to civilize but teaches him that he is one of a degraded race, with- 
out civil or political privileges. 

The course of policy which Mr. Bell has adopted towards the north- 
ern Indians distinguishes him from all his predecessors, and places him 
far above them. He treats the Indians as human beings, and gives them 
a place, if they choose to occupy it, among cultivated men. 

Governor Doty certainly deserves great credit for the promptness and 
the despatch with which he has carried his transaction through. There 
is no man more energetic than Governor D., and no one better calcu- 
lated to trade with the Indians. Maugre all the traductions of the locofoco 
papers on this gentleman, we feel assured that the government will find 
him an efficient officer and a powerful auxiliary in its intercourse with the 
Indian tribes. Years of experience have made him conversant with 



the western people and with tribes of Indians who surround the Ter- 

From the Madison Express, October 27, 1841. 

[From the Davenport Gazette.] 
Gov. Doxy's Treaty with the Dakota Indians. 

Mr. Sanders, Dear Sir : As every incident connected with the Indians, 
within our Territorial borders, is of vast and increasing interest to each 
and every citizen of this Territory, it is with pleasure that I am able *o 
inform you that the statement, as made by the Globe and other Loco Foco 
prints, in different sections of the country, "That the treaty as concluded 
by Gov. Doty has beeen rejected in the Senate," is entirely without foun- 
dation. It was received, but all action upon it was deferred until the 
next Session of Congress, on account of the unfortunate difficulties in 
the Cabinet, and between the President and Congress. 

That it is of vital importance to the North Western States and 
Territories, that this treaty should be confirmed and immediately carried 
into effect, no person with a knowledge of the facts will deny. I should 
be sorry indeed, if the report of its rejection had been correct, for 
unless it is confirmed, there is no prospect of a removal of the Tribes 
now within our limits, for many succeeding years. 

Instead of the corruptions and extravagance as represented in the 
Globe, the terms of the Treaty are in all respects (I am informed by 
those who have seen them) highly advantageous to the Government 
and to the Indians. The appropriations which \vill be required to carry its 
provisions into effect, will be less than those now made to the Winne- 
bagoes, who did not cede to the United States one-half the quantity 
of land which is ceded by this Treaty. 

Such being the facts of the case, the importatnce of this Treaty 
will strike the most casual observer; and when I confidently express 
the hope that the Treaty as made by Gov. Doty, and the one about to be 
made with the Sac and Fox nations, will be ratified and confirmed by 
the next Congress, and provisions made to carry them into effect, I am 
very sure I express the wishes of a large majority of the thinking pop- 
ulation of our Territory. 

As I consider this a matter of the first importance, I shall at my 
leisure, with your permission lay before your readers many facts con- 
nected with this subject, in which we are all so deeply interested. 


Davenport, Oct. 12th, 1841. 

The Late Sioux Treaty. 

Strong attempts are making by the Globe and other papers of that 
kidney, to cast odium upon the late Treaty with the Sioux Indians, by 
which they agreed to sell about twenty-five millions of acres of their 
lands to the United States. From what we hear of the provisions of 


that Treaty, we should deem it to be one of the most important that 
has for a long time been made. Its consequences (both to the Indians and 
whites, to the mutual advantage and well-being of all), if its provisions 
are carried out, make us ardently hope that the Senate will weigh the 
matter well before they fail to ratify it. — Indeed, we can hardly believe 
they have any intention of doing othervvise than to conhrm it, from the 
evidence we have. Almost any one can trace out many advantages re- 
sulting from it. To say nothing of the immense tract of fertile country 
that it will throw open to civilization (its value in this light cannot be 
estimated), it will have the effect to place the Indians in a state of 
dependence on this Government, which will not only enable us to pre- 
serve peace between us and them, but in time of war they may even 
serve as our protection against other Indians. For instance, the Chip- 
peways, a powerful tribe, are known to be more or less under British influ- 
ence, and, in case of war between the United States and England, would 
be likely to espouse the cause of the latter. The Sioux are their hereditary 
enemies, and the use to which they might be put in such an emergency 
to guard our northern frontiers may be seen at a glance. In time of 
peace, they v/ill make a market for a part of our produce — and good mar- 
kets are what we shall soon want. Some objections are made to the 
price paid for the purchase. The exact price agreed upon we have to 
learn, nor are we ver>' particular about it. Money paid to the Indians, 
like "bread cast upon the waters,'' is pretty sure to "return after many 
days." A certain amount is to be paid in furnishing husbandmen to 
cultivate their lands, and mechanics who are to reside among them, to 
supply their necessary wants and instruct them in the arts of civilized 
life. This, certainly, is not money thrown away. It goes not out of the 
country — as in the purchase of foreign broadcloths and silks. The benev- 
olence of the act should count something. If the Indians can be made 
to live in peace, and learn to depend for tli«ir support on the quiet arts 
of agriculture, we must believe that a vast amount of human misery 
would be avoided. — Galena Gazette. 

From the Madison Express, Novcynber 3, 1841. 

[From the Hawkeye.] 
Gov. Doty's Treaties. 
The "Globe man," at Washington, appears to be very anxious to 
create the impression upon the public mind, that these treaties bear the 
same character with those which were formed under the Jackson and 
Van Baren administrations, and which he lauded so highly. But he is 
mistaken; they were neither effected by corruption nor have they any 
corrupt purpose. 

It is unnecessary to explain to him what are their provisions, be- 
cause it is manifest that, either in the War Department or the secret 
(bureaus of the Senate, the opportunity has been afforded him to inspect 
them. This violation of the rules of both of those Departments of the 





Government (or at least one of them) has given him the opportunity 
to pubh'sh false and garbled statements of their provisions. This is 
the true loco foco principle, otherwise it would be strange that with the 
facts before him he could not tell the truth. 

Gav. Doty, it is well known, can have nothing to do with the execution 
of the provisions of these treaties, as the country ceded and the Indians 
are not within his Superintendency, but are entirely within the Territory 
of Iowa. The insinuations of the Globe, that they contain provisions out 
of which he can m.ake money as a public officer, and that they were 
inserted by him for this purpose, are wholly groundless; and are of the 
same character of those which have heretofore been made against him in 
that and other prints of a kindred character. The Globe forgets when 
he makes such charges that he is not a loco foco. 

We are correctly informed when we state that the thirty-three mil- 
lions of acres are not to cost the United States "from six to eight 
millions of dollars." as is asserted by the Globe ; but that it will not 
cost two millions of dollars to carry every provision into effect. We also 
assert that the annual appropriation required for this object for the 
first ten years will not be more than sixty or seventy thousand dollars ; 
and afterwards it will be reduced to fifty thousand. Will the Globe 
'dare to contrast these with the South Western Treaties, or with the 
Pottowattomie and W^innebago Treaties which he applauded so highly, 
because they were the measures of his masters, and let the public know 
the difference in the number of acres purchased and the price paid under 
Loco foco treaties and Whig treaties? 

We understand this attack of the Globe on these treaties, for the 
purpose of preventing their ratification, to be a direct attack upon the 
future settlement and prosperity of these northwestern States and Ter- 
ritories. He knew that the object of the administration in forming them 
was to provide a country for the exclusive occupation of all of the Indians 
from New York to the Missouri river. And he knew that unless such 
a country was provided the Indians now in New York. Ohio, Michigan, 
Indiana, Illinois. Wisconsin and Iowa, must remain where they are. im- 
peding and annoying the settlements, alike currupting and corrupted by 
their contact with those settlements, a burthen to the States in which 
they reside, and at a great expense and trouble to the general government. 

Is Iowa prepared to admit that there shall be no further extinguish- 
ment of the Indian title within her limits ; and that the Sacs, Foxes, and 
Pottawattomies should continue to inhabit the country which they now 
occupy? If so, let them assist in procuring the rejection of these Treaties. 
The South Western States declare they will have no more Indians con- 
centrated on their frontier, and the State of Missouri, if the United States 
owned the country on her western boundary, does not wish to be hemmed 
in by such neighbors. 

The portion of country now selected by the administration for a per- 
manent home for these people (as agriculturists if they choose) is exteric 



to all of the white settlements and away from their tracts. It does not 
therefore interfere with the progress of settlement, or the civil or political 
divisions of the country. And we now call upon the people of Iowa to 
notice the efforts of the Opposition to prevent the removal of the Indians 
by this administration beyond her borders — merely because John Tyler 
is President, and not Martin Van Buren. 

Much other interesting information concerning that early 
treaty is contained in the recommendations of Hon. John Bell, 
secretary of war, transmitted with the treaty to the Senate by 
President Tyler, September ist, 1841, as published in "Messages 
and Papers of the Presidents, 1 789-1897," Volume IV, pages 


Doty seems to have heard the story of Le Sueur's copper 
mine near the mouth of the Blue Earth river, and to have been so 
Impressed with it that, while attending his treaty at Traverse des 
Sioux, he had many visions of this useful metal, as appeared by 
'the following extract from his report made a year afterward: "I 
saw many evidences of copper along the banks of the Minisoto 
(St. Peter), but chiefly on the south bank. You are aware that at 
the mouth of the ^Mukahto river there was, a hundred years ago, 
a copper smelting establishment erected by a Frenchman. I vis- 
ited the ruins last summer. There is no doubt in my mind that 
extensive beds of copper ore will be found in the valley of the 
Minisoto, above tne sandstone rapid, which is fifty miles from its 

It is difficult now to imagine where Governor Doty saw his 
signs of copper in the Minnesota valley, unless, perhaps, in the 
color of its aboriginal inhabitants. • ' 


' We found great difficulty in locating the exact spot where 
the treaty was signed, and it was only after much diligent inquiry 
that we were enabled at last to detennine it with certainty. Very 
few of those who were present at the treaty now survive, and the 
change in the appearance of the country, and the lapse of time 



since they saw it, render their recollections somewhat indefinite. 

The only person now living, who was present at the treaty 
and who has lived at Traverse des Sioux ever since, within a 
stone's throw of the spot where the treaty was signed, is Mrs, 
lx)ui?a Carpenter. She is quite an intelligent woman and a grand- 
daughter of the noted Sioux chief, Mazahsha (Red Iron). Her 
father, Louis Laramie, a Canadian Frenchman, came to Traverse 
des Sioux early in the 40's from M'endota. 'Mrs. Carpenter has 
an excellent memory, and, though only about eight years old at 
the time of the treaty, she recalls distinctly many incidents con- 
nected with its making. The commissioners' tents, the building 
of the booth which was used for a council chamber, the speech of 
chief Sleepy Eye, the drowning and the recovery of the body of 
Rev, Robert Hopkins, the missionary, the caution given by the 
chiefs to the children to keep away from the council chamber 
so as not to disturb the sessions v/ith their noise, the use of the 
old log warehouse by the whites for their kitchen, and many other 
happenings of the time, she recalls quite vividly. 

Another person thoroughly familiar with the old landmarks 
of Traverse des Sioux is Louis A. Robert, who has resided in the 
vicinity since 1853. He is a son of Antoine Robert and a nephew 
of Louis Robert, the famous steamboat captain and trader. He is 
a most genial gentleman and rendered much assistance in locating 
tlie site of the treaty. 

Valuable information as to the site, and as to other matters 
pertaining to the treaty, was also kindly furnished by Governor 
Ramsey, Mrs. Grace C. Pond, Rev. Moses N. Adams, and others. 
Mrs. Pond is the widow of the Rev. Robert Hopkins, who was 
drowned accidentallv in the Minnesota river on the morning of 
July 4th, 1851, while bathing near his home,^making the saddest 
incident of the treaty story. Airs. Pond resided at Traverse des 
Sioux from April, 1844, to September 17th, 1851, and, with her 
husband and ^Ir. and Mrs. Huggins, taught the mission school 
there. She witnessed the treaty from beginning to end. Rev. 
M. N. Adams, the pioneer missionary and preacher, has been 
familiar with the sites of Traverse des Sioux since 1848; and, 
though not present at the treaty, he was there a short time after- 
ward and saw the spot, when every evidence was fresh, and he 


made his home at Traverse des Sioux for many years immediate- 
ly thereafter. 

The main difficulty in determining the site of the treaty has 
arisen from a mistake as to the site of Louis Provencalle's store. 
The majority of the old settlers seem to have taken it for granteci 
that this store stood three or four rods northwest of the present 
residence of ^vfrs. Jacob Frank, on block 35 of the old townsite. 
None of these old settlers have personal knowledge of the fact, 
except tliat some of them recall seeing an old log building there. 
All the earliest settlers who actually saw the store when occupied 
by Provencalle, and who therefore speak with authority, place 
its site just where the barn of Mr. Demos Young now stands, on 
the south side of block 33 of the townsite. 

This old store fronted south and was built of hewn logs with 
the ends grooved, so as to fit into two upright posts firmly plant- 
ed at each end, thus making four posts at each corner to hold the 
walls in position, instead of laying the logs one across the other 
at the corners, so as to dovetail them together after the usual 
method. A few feet west of the store was another small log 
building which Provencalle had used as a dwelling. Enclosing 
the two buildings and a garden patch and some horse sheds in 
the rear was a high fence, or, rather, a palisade of stakes, pointed 
at the top. 

These buildings had been erected very early, and in the sum- 
mer of 1841 Governor Doty had held his treaty in the old store; 
and Father Ravoux, in the fall of the same year, had used it in 
giving religious instruction to the children of Provencalle and of 
the voyageurs in his employ and in administering to them the rite 
of baptism. Owing to the owner's death the previous February, 
these buildings had been vacated some months before the treaty 
of 1851, and during the treaty they were used by the commission 
as kitchen and store-room. 

It seems, however, that there was an old log warehouse, 
standing near Mrs. Frank's present residence on the same bench 
of land, about sixty rods south of the Provencalle buildings. This 




structure of unhewn logs fronted north, and had neither floor, 
chimney, nor window, and evidently was very ancient at the time 
of the treaty. Mrs. Carpenter insists that the Doty treaty and 
Kavoux school were held in it,' and that it was used as a kitchen 
by the Ramsey-Lea Commission. I am inclined to believe, though, 
that she is in error as to this ; but, as to the spot where the great 
treaty of 185 1 was held, all who were present at it agree, and 
hence there can be no reasonable doubt. It is located in front of 
where the old Provencalle buildings stood, about fifteen rods to 
the south, and just north of a small natural ditch. 

A spot of such historic interest should be marked by a suit- 
able monument, since there and then, in the glorious annals of our 
great Northwest, 

*'The old order changeth, yielding place to new.'' 




The picturesque river which gave our commonwealth its 
name has always been an important feature in the geography and 
history of this northwest country. 

The geologist reads in the deep erosion of this valley, and 
in its continuance to lake Traverse, which outflows to lake Winni- 
peg and Hudson bay, the story of a mighty river, the outlet of a 
vast ancient lake covering the Red river region in the closing part 
of the Glacial period. What use, if any, the primitive men of 
that time made of this majestic stream, we know not. 

The Dakota tribes, whom the white explorers found dwelling 
upon our river's margin two or three centuries ago, called it '"'the 
sky-tinted", from the tincture "given its water by the rich clayey 
soil of its valley. Their mortal foes, the Ojibways, whose home 
v.'as among the somber pines of the north, were impressed with 
the greenness of its luxuriant foliage, and hence knew it as Ash- 
kiibogi-Sibi, ''the River of the Green Leaf." The French trad- 
ers named it the St. Pierre (or St. Peter), probably in honor of 
c*ne of their leaders who had been among the first to explore it. 

Many and varied have been the scenes enacted upon its banks, 
J^cencs of thrilling adventure and glorious valor, as well as of 
J^-'^-Ppy merriment and tender love. It was for centuries the arena 
of many a sanguinary conflict, and the blood of lowas, Dakotas, 
Ojibways, and white men, often mingled freely with its flood. 

•Read at the monthly meeting of the Executive Council, April 14, 1902. 




For generations unknown the only craft its bosom bore was 
the canoe of the Indian. Then came the French traders, with 
their retinue of voyaguers, who made our river an avenue of a 
great commerce in Indian goods and costly furs. For over a 
hundred years fleets of canoes and Mackinaw boats, laden with 
Indian merchandise, plied constantly along the river's sinuous 
length. The sturdy voyaguers, however, left to history but a 
scant record of their adventurous life. A brave and hardy race 
were they, inured to every peril and hardship, yet ever content 
and happy; and long did the wooded bluffs of the Minnesota 
echo with their songs of old France. 

The first white men known to have navigated the Minnesota 
were Le Sueur and his party of miners, who entered its mouth 
in a felucca and two row boats on September 20th, 1700, and 
reached the mouth of the Blue Earth on the 30th of the same 
month. The next spring he carried with him down the river a 
boat-load of blue or green shale which he had dug from the bluffs 
of the Blue Earth, in mistake for copper ore . Much more profit- 
able, doubtless, he found the boat-load of beaver and other Indian 
furs, which he took with him at the same time. This is the first 
recorded instance of freight transportation on the Minnesota 

In the winter of 1819-20, a deputation of Lord Selkirk's 
Scotch colony, who had settled near the site of Winnipeg, traveled 
through Minnesota to Prairie du Qiien, a journey of about a 
thousand miles, to purchase seed wheat. On April 15th, 1820, 
they started back in three Mackinaw boats loaded with 200 bush- 
els of wheat, 100 bushels of oats, and 30 bushels of peas. Dur- 
ing the month of May they ascended the Minnesota from its 
mouth to its source, and, dragging their loaded boats over the 
portage on rollers, descended the Red river to their homes, which 
they reached early in June. 

The Mackinaw or keel boats used on the river in those days 
were open vessels of from twenty to fifty feet in length by four to 
ten feet in width, and capable of carrying from two to eight tons 
burden. They v;ere propelled by either oars or poles as the 
exigencies of the river might require. The crew usually com- 
prised from five to nine men. One acted as steersman, and, in 



poling, the others, ranging themselves in order upon a plank laid 
lengthwise of the boat on each side, would push the boat ahead; 
and as each, in rotation, reached the stern, he would pick up his 
pole and start again at the prow. Their progress in ascending 
the river would be from five to fifteen miles per day, depending 
upon the stage of water and the number of rapids they had to 

Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, the noted missionary to the 
Indians, in describing his first journey up the valley of the Minne- 
sota, in June, 1835, gives an interesting account of how he shipped 
his wife and children and his fellow helpers, Mr. and Mrs. A. 
G. Huggins, with their goods, on one of these boats, which was 
nine days in making the trip from Fort Snelling to Traverse des 
Sioux . 

In the correspondence of Mrs. S. R. Riggs, the wife of 
another famous missionary- to the Sioux, is found a vivid picture 
of a Mackinaw boat, belonging to the old Indian trader, Philander 
Prescott, in which she ascended the ]Minnesota in September, 
1837 . It was about forty feet long by eight feet wade and capable 
of carrying about five tons. It was manned by a crew of five 
persons, one to steer, and two on each side to furnish the motive 
power. Oars were used as far as to the Little rapids, about three 
miles above Carver, and thence to Traverse des Sioux poles were 
employed. The journey consumed five days. 

Illustrative of the size and capacity of some of the canoes 
used by the traders, we find George A. McLeod in April, 1853, 
bringing down from Lac qui Parle to Traverse des Sioux forty 
bushels of potatoes, besides a crew of five men, in a single canoe 
twenty-five feet long by forty- four inches wide, hollowed out of a 
huge Cottonwood tree . 


The first steamboat to enter the Minnesota river was the 
Virginia on May loth, 1823. She was not a large vessel, being 
only 118 feet long by 22 feet wide, and she only ascended as far 
as Mendota and Fort Snelling, which during the period between 
the years 1820 and 1848 were about the only points of importance 
in the territory now embraced within our state. Hence all the 
boats navigating the upper Mississippi in those days had to enter 
the Minnesota to reach these terminal points. 



Except for these landings at its mouth, and save that in 1842 
a small steamer with a party of excursionists on board ascended 
it as far as the old Indian village near Shakopee, no real attempt 
was made to navigate the ^linnesota with steamboats until 1850. 
Prior to this time it was not seriously thought that the river was 
navigable to any great distance for any larger craft than a keel 
boat, and the demonstration to the contrary, then witnessed, has 
made that year notable in the history of the state. 


In June, 1850, the Anthony Wayne, a Mississippi river boat 
in charge of Captain Daniel Able, arrived at St. Paul with a 
party of St. Louis people. They were a jolly crowd, and to 
enliven their trip had brought with them a small band of music 
from Ouincy, Illinois. Just then there was quite a freshet in 
the Minnesota, and it was suggested to Captain Able that to en- 
tertain his guests he take his boat on an excursion up this river, 
then little known, to see the country. The people of St. Paul 
were soon enlisted in the project, and a purse of $225 was raised 
to defray the expense. 

On the day set, Friday, the 28th of June, early in the morn- 
ing the Anthony Wayne, w-ith her decks crowded with one htm- 
dred and fourteen of St. Paul's prominent citizens and the 
seventy St. Louis people, started on her memorable journey up 
the Minnesota. All nature seemed propitious. The day clear 
and balmy, the luxuriant vegetation freshened by recent showers, 
and the river full to the brim, glistening like silver between its 
winding avenues of trees gaily decked and festooned in varied 
green, all combined to make a glorious paradise of this most 
charming of valleys. Louis Pelon and Thomas J. Odell, because 
of their acquaintance with the river, acted as pilots . 

At Fort Snelhng our excursionists found Captain ^lonroe 
with only fifty men in charge and expecting every moment to be 
summoned to Sauk Rapids to quell a disturbance by the Winne- 
bagoes, which happened the next day. Here tlie military band, 
under the lead of }^lr. Jackson, joined the excursion. 

The first point of note above the fort, and at a distance of 
about three miles by land from it, was Black Dog's village, com- 
prising a row of huts and tepees ranged on the brow of the 
north bluff. The intervening ground between the blufif and the 



river was covered with patches of com and beans, which the 
squaws were busily hoeing. Near by on the same side of the 
river, but close to its banks, they passed Man Cloud's village. 

Five or six miles beyond (by land measure), Good Road's 
village stood on the south bank. About ten miles farther, and 
on the same side of the river, lay Six's village, where Samuel 
Pond had his mission station . Nearly opposite the present village 
of Chaska was a village of Wahpahton Sioux, where Louis Robert 
had a trading post, for which the boat unloaded some goods . At 
the foot of the rapids near Carver our steamer overtook a keel 
boat bearing the name "Rocky Mountains," whose crew were en- 
gaged in the arduous task of forcing their boat up the rushing 
waters by dragging it with a long rope passed around a tree 
above and by pushing it with their long poles . The Wayne con- 
cluded not to attempt the rapids, and turned her prow homeward. 

The fuel having given out, the boat crew made a raid on an 
Indian cemetery close at hand, and replenished their stock from 
the dry poles and pickets there found . This vandalism was prob- 
ably excused on the ground of necessity, no other dry wood being 
available. Be that as it may, it is certain that the steam generated 
by this funereal fuel soon carried the Wayne and her happy 
burden home. The voyage had proven eminently successful, and 
the people were wild in their praise of the river and the beautiful 
country it drained. 

Emulous of the Wayne's achievement, the Nominee, a rival 
boat in command of Captain Orren Smith, got up another ex- 
cursion party, and on the I2th of July sailed up the river, and 
passing the formidable rapids planted her shingle three miles 
above, and then returned home in triumph. 

The Wayne, not to be thus outdone by a rival, on the i8th of 
the same month, with a third excursion on board, ascended 
again the now famous river. The Fort Snelling band partici- 
pated also in this journey. Passing the rapids and the shingle 
of the Nominee on tlie first day, the Wayne spent her second night 
at Traverse des Sioux. Here the missionaries, Messrs. Hop- 
kins and Huggins and their families, extended generous hospi- 
tality; and the next morning they joined the party in their farther 
progress up the river. After partaking of a picnic dinner at the 
bend in the river two or three miles below the present city of 
Mankato, our excursionists turned the prow of the Wayne home- 


ward, whence arriving- they swelled the praise of the beautiful 
valley of the ^Minnesota more than ever. 

Incited by the success of these boats, the Yankee, a steamer 
belonging to the Harris line, determined to outdo them all. Ac- 
cordingly a big excursion, comprising most of the prominent 
officials and business men of St. Paul, was organized, and on 
Monday, the 22nd day of July, this ambitious little boat steamed 
into the mouth of the 2vIinnesota. She was officered by M. K. 
Harris, captain, J. S. Armstrong, pilot, G. W. Scott, first en- 
gineer, and G. L. Sargent, second engineer. The Fort Snelling 
band was again in requisition. Late on the afternoon of the 
second day the boat passed Traverse des Sioux, where the mis- 
sionaries had just harvested a small field of wheat, probably the 
first ever raised in the valley. It certainly was fitting that this 
first year of steamboating in the valley should also be the first 
year to grow that commodity which was to play so important a 
part in the river's traffic. 

The second night was spent at the upper end of Kascta 
prairie. It was a charming moonlight night, and a number of 
the Yankee's party held a dance on the grassy floor of this level 
plateau. The band furnished the music (some of the dancers 
said that several mosquito bands were out too) . 

Early Wednesday the Yankee started up stream again, soon 
passing the sign the Anthony Wayne had fastened to a neighbor- 
ing tree the week before. On the mound at the mouth of the 
Blue Earth our travelers found a small Indian trading post, be- 
longing to H. H. Sibley, in charge of a Frenchman. Discover- 
ing here in. the sand what seemed to be pieces of cannel coal, they 
were told by the Frenchman that two or three miles up the Blue 
Earth there was a solid bed of coal four feet thick in a bluff. 
This nmst have been the same wonderful bluff in which Le Sueur 
found his copper mine, but as no such bluff* was ever afterward 
known in that locality, and as the Frenchman also mysteriously 
disappeared, there may be some ground for the report that he 
stole it, or it may have been all "bluff,'' a French ''bluff." 

By the third evening the boat reached a point a little above 
the present village of Judson in Blue Earth county. Even thus 
late in the season (Juiv 24th), the stage of water in the river was 
excellent, and no difficulty so far had been incurred in its navi- 
gation. It was voted that evening to proceed again on the mor- 



row, but the intense heat (which had been 104 degrees in the 
shade that day) and the swarms of mosquitoes prevented both 
crew and passengers from sleeping. For that reason, and be- 
cause provisions were nearly exhausted, the \ote was reconsid- 
ered in the morning, and the fourth night found them again at 
Traverse des Sioux. 

On the next day they spent an hour at Six's village. The 
old chief, with about a hundred of his braves, came down to the 
landing to meet them., and there he made a speech claiming big 
damages because the excursionists had tramped down his corn. 
True, the corn had been drowned out and w^ashed away by the 
high water long before the whites landed; but then, the Great 
Spirit was angry because they had taken those big fire canoes up 
the river, and that vvas why the freshet came, so they ought to 
pay for the corn. How Six (or "Half a Dozen," as James 
Goodhue of the "Pioneer'* called him) succeeded with his damage 
suit is not stated, but our travelers reached St. Paul all safe by 
night . 

Never did they forget the beautiful countr>^ they had seen, 
and the delightful journey they had taken on its most picturesque 
highway. Nearly all the prominent people of the Territory, 
and scores of visitors from the East, had participated in one or 
more of these excursions. The navigability of the Minnesota by 
steamboat was now a demonstrated fact, and the desirability for 
settlement of the fertile country it drained was by these eye 
witnesses everywhere enthusiastically heralded. This focusing 
of the public eye on the valley contributed in no small degree to 
the making of the great treaty with the Sioux in the following 
summer, whereby this magnificent country was thrown open to 
civilization . 


On the 29th of June, 1851, the steamer Excelsior (called 
by the Indians the Buck boat, from the antlered head of a deer 
which decorated its prow) transported the treaty commissioners, 
Hon. Luke Lea and Governor Ramsey, with their attendants 
and supplies, to Traverse des Sioux, where at sunrise on the 
morning of the 30th they arrived. On the 20th of July the Ben- 
jamin Franklin, No. i, carried to the same place a party of St. 
Paul people to w^itness the famous treaty then in progress. The 


third and only other boat to ascend the Minnesota this year was 
the Uncle Toby, which on October 7th conveyed to Traverse des 
Sioux the first load Indian goods under the new treaty. 

During the fall and winter following this treaty there was 
a great rush of settlers into the Minnesota valley, and before the 
spring of 1852 a series of town sites lined the banks of the river 
from St. Paul to the mouth of the Blue Earth, a distance by 
water of a hundred nnd fifty miles. These embryo towns were 
at once in dire need of communication with the civilized world, 
that they might be accessible to the swarms of settlers ever 
pressing westward, and that those locating in them might have 
their wants supplied. 


Among the proprietors of the townsite of ^lankato w^ere 
Henry Jackson and Col. D. A. Robertson, both influential busi- 
ness men of St. Paul. Through their efforts the steamer Tiger, 
under Captain ^laxw^ell, w^as induced to make three trips to the 
remote Blue Earth town in the spring of 1852. She left St. 
Paul on her first journey April 21st, and returned on the 25th 
of the same month. Her second and third trips were made on 
April 28th and ]\Iay i8th. Each time she carried a full load of 
passengers and freight for ]\Iankato and intermediate points. 
The Minnesota now becoming too low for navigation, the Tiger 
went elsewhere. 

In the meantime, by an act of Congress passed June 8th, 
1852, this river, which heretofore the whites had called the St. 
Peter's, had its ancient Sioux name, Minnesota, restored to it. The 
mid-summer rains restored to it, also, its navigable condition, and 
Colonel Robertson succeeded in chartering the Black Hawk to 
make three trips to Mankato during July. The Black Hawk was 
a stern-wheel boat, just built the winter before at Rock Island, 
and was well adapted for the Minnesota trade, being 130 feet 
long wuth a 21-foot beam, and drawing only 17 inches of water. 
She had thirty state rooms, with berths for sixty passengers, and 
was capable of carrying 130 tons. Her captain was W. P. 
Hall, and her clerk W. Z. Dalzell. She left St. Paul on her 
first voyage up the Llinnesota on the third of July, having on 
board, besides freight, forty passengers, fifteen of whom were 
booked to Mankato. The boat arrived there on the morning of 



tlie 5th, and returned the next day to St. Paul. On the 12th and 
2 1 St of July the Black Hawk departed on her second and third 
trips to Mankato, an/i during the same season she made two trips 
to Babcock's Landing, just opposite the present city of St. Peter, 
and one to Traverse des Sioux. 

The Jennie Lind also entered the Minnesota trade this year, 
and during July made one trip to Babcock's Landing, one to 
Traverse des Sioux, and one to Holmes' Landing (now Shako- 
pee) . The steamer Enterprise also went as far as Little rapids, 
making in all thirteen departures from the St. Paul wharf dur- 
ing this very first year of traffic with white setders. 

The first boat to enter the Minnesota in 1853 was the Greek 
Slave, a new boat built especially for this river by Captain Louis 
Robert. She left St. Paul on April 4th with 150 passengers, 
besides a full load of freight, and on the 7th arrived at Traverse 
des Sioux and Mankato. Another boat to enter the trade this 
year was the Clarion, a small stern-wheel vessel of seventy-two 
and one-half tons burden, owned by Captain Humbertson. On 
her first voyage she carried an excursion to Traverse des Sioux, 
where she arrived on April 22nd. 

Two events of 1853, of much importance in the develop- 
ment of the ]\rinnesota river trade, were the establishing upon its 
head waters of the Sioux Agencies and the erection in their 
vicinity of Fort Ridgely. The necessity thus created, of trans- 
porting to such a distance up the river the large quantity of sup- 
plies required annuaMy by both soldier and Indian, gave an im- 
petus for years to the steamboat traffic of the Minnesota. 

The West Newton, Captain D. S. Harris, secured the con- 
tract to convey the troops with their baggage from Fort Snelling 
to the new post. She was a small packet, 150 feet long and of 
300 tons burden, and had been bought the summer before by the 
Harris brothers to compete with the Nominee in the Mississippi 
river trade. She left Fort Snelling on Wednesday, the 27th 
day of April, 1853, having on board two companies of the Sixth 

S. Regiment, in com.mand of Captains Dana and Monroe. 
To help carry the baggage, she had two barges in tow. The 
Tiger had also departed from St. Paul on the 25th, and the 
Clarion on the 26th, each with a couple of barges in tow, heavily 
loaded with supplies for the new fort and the agencies. The 
West Newton, bemg the swiftest boat, passed the Clarion at 



Henderson, and the Tiger near the Big Cottonwood, and thence 
to the site of the nev^ fort at the mouth of Rock creek, was the 
first steamer to disturb the waters of our sky-tinted river. 

The Minnesota this year remained navigable all summer, and 
a number of boats ascended it to Fort Ridgely and the Lower 
Sioux Agency, while others went to Mankato and other points. 
The passenger travel, as well as the freight trade, was excellent. 
On two successive trips in July, the little Clarion carried 150 
passengers at a time, and other boats were equally crowded. In 
September two St. Paul gentlemen, C. D. Fillmore and William 
Constans, bought each a small boat for the Minnesota trade. 
Mr. Fillmore's boat, the Humboldt, started on her first trip on 
the 13th of that monvh; and on the 24th followed IMr. Constans' 
boat, the lola. 

In all there were forty-nine boat arrivals in 1853 from the 
Minnesota river at the St. Paul wharf. The names of the 
boats, and the number of trips made by each, so far as known, 
were as follows: Greek Slave, 4 trips; Clarion, 16; Tiger, 13; 
Black Hawk, 8 ; W est Newton, i ; Shenandoah, 3 ; Humboldt, 2 ; 
Tola, 2 . The Greek Slave opened the season on the 4th of April, 
and the lola closed it on the 2nd of November. 

The winter of 1853-4 was mild and open and the river broke 
up early, but withoui the usual freshet, for there had been but 
little snow. The Greek Slave was tlie first boat on the ^linne- 
sota again in 1854, and her first trip was an excursion to Shako- 
pee on the 2ist of ]\larch. The Humboldt followed her in a day 
or two, and during March and April made about a dozen trips, 
but owing to low water did not get above the rapids more than 
once or twice. The Greek Slave only attempted one trip up the 
Minnesota, this being in April. 

The success of the prior season had awakened in the boat- 
men great expectations for this year, and much preparation for 
it was made during the winter, but all was doomed to disappoint- 
ment. Captain Samuel Humbertson, who the year before had 
been the most active m the trade, and who had started above the 
mouth of the Blue Earth the townsite of South Bend, which he 
hoped would become the chief city of the valley, during the 
winter sold his little Clarion, and built for himself at Belle Ver- 
non, Pa., on the IMonongahela river, a fine new boat 170 feet 




long, with thirty-eight well furnished state rooms. He christened 
ixT the Minnesota Belle, and, loading her full with immigrants, 
intended mostly for his new town, on May 3rd started up the 
Minnesota. To the captain's great chagrin, his new boat failed 
to climb the Little rapids, near Carver, and he abandoned the 
river, townsite and all, in disgust. 

A rainfall a few days later, however, swelled the river suffi- 
ciently for the Black Hawk to reach Traverse des Sioux on the 
20th day of IMay. For some time, and until after July 20th, the 
lola and the Montellc ran with fair regularity between the Little 
rapids and Traverse, supplementing the Black Haw^k, Humboldt, 
and other boats, plying below the rapids. 

Large keel boats, denominated barges, propelled after the 
ancient method by a crew of men with poles, became common 
on the river this year. Andrew G. Myrick placed two of these 
barges on the river in charge of the Russell boys. These ves- 
sels were from 50 to 60 feet long, 10 to 12 feet wide, and with 
sides four to five feet high, along the top of which was fastened 
a plank walk, for the use of the pole men. A small low cabin 
for the cook w^as built in the stern, and during foul weather a big 
tarpaulin was spread over the goods. A full crew consisted of 
a captain, who also acted as steersman, ten to a dozen pole men, 
and a cook. With a fair stage of w^ater the usual speed up 
stream was twelve to fourteen miles a day, but if sandbars or 
rapids interfered a mile or two w'ould be a hard day's journey. 
Down stream, however, they would travel much faster. Most 
of the supplies for Fort Ridgely and the Sioux Agencies, as well 
as for all up river towns, had to be transported this year in such 
barges . 

The total steamboat arrivals from the Minnesota at St. Paul 
in 1854 did not exceed thirty, and few of them came from beyond 
tlie Little rapids. This, however, does not include trips by the 
Montello and the lola between the rapids and points above. 

The snowfall in the winter of 1854-5 was again rather 
meager, and consequently the river continued low during the 
J^pring of 1855, though not as low as the prior season. The 
Globe, a new boat belonging to Louis Robert, with Nelson Robert 
as captain, was the first steamer, leaving St. Paul on the 8th of 
April. The Black FLawk, the J. B. Gordon, No. 2, the H. S. 




Allen, and the Afontello, with the barges Russell and Master, 
promptly joined in the trade. A fair business was done in April, 
but during the midsummer months navigation was mostly sus- 
pended, because of low -water. The fall rains caused quite a 
freshet, and there was a brisk trade again for a month or two, 
continuing as late as the middle of November. The Time and 
Tide, Berlin, Equator, and Reveille, had now joined with the 
other boats in the Minnesota river trade. 

Louis Robert, having the contract this year to deliver the 
Sioux annuities, took them up to the i\gency late in October in 
the Globe, of which Edwin Bell was then captain. Within two 
miles of the landing the boat struck on a rock, and the goods had 
to be unloaded on the river bank. While Captains Robert and 
Bell were gone to carry the Indian money, amounting to $90,000 
in gold, to Fort Ridgely, the Indians, who were gathered in force 
to divide the provisions, carelessly set fire to the dry grass, which 
was quickly communicated to the pile of goods, and most of them, 
including fifty kegs of powder, were destroyed. 

The names of boats engaged in the ]\Iinnesota river trade 
during this year 1855, number of trips taken by each 

from St. Paul, were as follows: Globe, 14 trips; Black Hawk, 
13; Berlin, 13; Time and Tide, 8; H. S. Allen, 22; J. B. Gor- 
don, No. 2, 28; Equator, 6; Reveille, 3; Montello, i ; and Shen- 
andoah, I. The total of the trips definitely recorded is thus 109. 
The Humboldt also ran on this river in the years 1854 to 1856. 
The first to enter had been the Globe on April 8th, and she was 
the last to leave on the i6th of November. 

An event of 1855 which tended to stimulate the commerce of 
the Minnesota for some years, was the removal of over 2,000 
Winnebagoes from the upper Mississippi to a reservation near 

A good fall of snow during the winter of 1855-6 caused an 
abundant supply of water in the river next spring. The naviga- 
tion of the Minnesota for the season of 1856 was opened on 
April loth by the Reveille, a stern-wheel packet, in command of 
Captain R. jM. Spencer. Four days later, the Globe, with Nel- 
son Robert as captain, departed from St. Paul for the same river, 
and she was followed the next day by the H. S. Allen. 




The Eeveille was considered a fast traveler, and as an in- 
stance of her speed it is recorded that on her second trip of this 
year she left St. Paul at 2 p. m. on Thursday, April 17th, with 
132 passengers and a full load of freight, and arrived at Man- 
kato by Saturday ; and that leaving the latter place at 5 a . m . the 
next day, she reached St. Paul by 8 p. m. that evening, after 
having made twenty- four landings on the way. 

On the 5th of May, the Reveille landed at Mankato a com- 
pany of settlers numbering two or three hundred, known as the 
Maplcton Colony; and the following Saturday (May loth) the 
H. T. Yeatman landed at South Bend a company of Welsh 
settlers from Ohio, numbering 121 souls. The Yeatman was 
a large stern-wheel boat, about the largest that ascended the Min- 
nesota, and this was her first trip. She continued in the trade 
only a few weeks, while the water was high. Her captain was 
Samuel G. Cabbell. Regular trips were made this year by sev- 
eral boats to Fort Ridgely and the Lower Sioux Agency, and 
some ascended to the Upper Agency, at the mouth of the Yellow 
Medicine river. 

The time table of Louis Robert's fine packet, the Time and 
Tide, issued for this season, shows the distance from St. Paul 
to Yellow ]\Iedicine to be 446 miles. To an old settler, who 
actually traveled on a ^Minnesota river steamboat in those early 
days, the idea of a time table may seem rather amusing; for if 
there was anything more uncertain as to its coming and going, or 
more void of any idea of regularity, than a steamboat, the old 
time traveler never, heard of it. Now stopping in some forest 
glen for wood, now tangled in the overhanging boughs of a tree 
with one or both smoke-stacks demolished, now fast for hours 
on some sandbar, and now tied up to a tree to repair the damage 
done by some snag, while the passengers sat on the bank telling 
stories, or went hunting, or feasted on the luscious wild straw- 
berries or juicy plums which grew abundantly in the valley, were 
common occurrences in steamboat travel. Many a pioneer re- 
members the Time ?.nd Tide, and how its jolly captain, Louis 
Robert, would sing out with sonorous voice, when the boat was 
about to start, "All aboard ! Time and Tide waits for no man," 
and then add, with a sly twinkle in his eye, ''and only a few min- 


utes for a woman/' Though we of today may think such 
method of travel tedious, yet it had many pleasant features, and 
to the people of that time, unaccustomed to the ''flyers" and "fast 
mails" of today, it ssemed quite satisfactory. 

The names of the boats which left the St. Paul wharf in 
1856 for the Minnesota river, and the number of trips taken by 
each, were as follows: Equator, 46 trips; Reveille, 40; Globe, 
34; Wave, 29; Minnesota, 20; Clarion, 12; Time and Tide, 12; 
Berlin, 10; and H. T. Yeatman, 4. The total trips so recorded 
are 207, being an increase of nearly a hundred over the preceding 
year. The steamboats H. S. Allen and Humboldt were also 
on the Mississippi river this year. 

The season of 1857 opened auspiciously with a good stage 
of water in the ^vlinnesota. The Equator, a well built packet of 
fair size in charge of Captain Sencerbox, was the first boat. 
She left St. Paul for Mankato on the morning of April 12th with 
a full load of passengers and freight. She was followed the 
next day by the Clarion, which had been bought the year before 
by Captain O. D. Keep and brought back to the Minnesota, 
where she had done such good service in 1853 under Captain 
Humbertson. Captain Keep and his clerk, John C. Hoffman, 
resided in the vicinity of Shakopee, and they kept the Clarion in 
the Minnesota trade until she sank near the St. Paul levee two 
or three years later. 

Two fine new boats, destined to do much service on the 
Minnesota, entered this year. They were the Frank Steele, a 
splendid side-wheel packet owned by Commodore Davidson, and 
the Jeannette Roberts, a large stern-wheel packet owned by Cap- 
tain Louis Robert. The Antelope, a small craft which Captain 
Houghton ran regularly for years between St. Paul and Chaska, 
began her career this season. Other important boats which en- 
gaged in the Minnesota trade this year for the first time were 
the Medora, J. Bisse'.l, Isaac Shelby, Fire Canoe, and Red Wing, 
all good sized packets, especially the last two. 

During the spring of this year steamboating on the Minne- 
sota was unusually brisk^. Eighteen boats arrived at St. Peter 
during a single week in May, and by June 1st thirty-four boats 
had passed that town for points above. It was no unusual occur- 



rence to see two or three boats unloading at once at the Mankato 

The names of the boats which left the St. Paul wharf this 
I year 1857 for the Minnesota, and the number of trips made by 

I each, were as follows: Antelope, 105 trips; Jeannette Roberts, 

: 40; Isaac Shelby, 36; Medora, 29; Frank Steele, 20; Equator, 

I 14; Time and Tide, 13; Clarion, 12; Minnesota, 8; Ocean Wave, 
I 6 ; J . BisscU, 5 ; Red Wing, 3 ; and Fire Canoe, i . The total 
I trips were 292, an increase of 85 from the year before. The 

i last boat was the Antelope which arrived at St. Paul on the. 

I 14th of November. 

I The winter of 1857-8 proved very mild, and the river broke 

i up unusually early. The first boat to leave St. Paul for the 

i Minnesota was the Jeannette Roberts, Captain Thimens, on 

i March 20th, but the Medora, Captain Charles T. Hinde, follow- 

t ing in a short time, passed her before reaching Shakopee. In 

I doing so, the boats rubbed too close together, and one of the Me- 

( dora's wheels was injured, so that she had to tie up an hour or 

■ two for repairs. Slie managed again to overtake and pass the 
': Jeannette while the latter was unloading at Traverse des Sioux, 

and reached Mankato as the first boat on the morning of !March 
; 22nd, followed there an hour or two later by the Jeannette. 

» Notwithstandino^ that there had been hardlv anv snow the 

; previous winter, the heavy spring and summer rains kept the 

■ river in a good navigable condition, and boats of the size of the 
« Frank Steele and Isaac Shelby were able to ascend to Mankato 

late into September. The Freighter was the only new boat to 

engage in the ^Minnesota trade. 
: This spring J. R. Cleveland and C. F. Butterfield built a 

barge at 3^[ankato 75 feet long by 12 feet wide and 4 feet high, 
\ which they christined "The :\[inneopa." It was employed by 

; Mr. Cleveland during the period of low water for many years 

\ in the Mankato traffic. It was operated in the old wa\, by a 

poling crew, and it usually took two weeks to make the trip to 

St. Paul and back to Mankato. 

There were 179 steamboat arrivals at :Mankato this year, 
\ counting those arriving from points above as well as from below: 

■ the former, though, did not exceed 25 or 30. 





The list of the boats engaged in the Minnesota trade this 
year, 1858, and the number of trips made by each, as shown by 
the St. Paul wharfmaster's book, are as follows: Antelope, 201 
trips; Frank Steele, 54; Jeannette Roberts, 35; Time and Tide, 
30; Freighter, 18; Isaac Shelby, 16; Ocean Wave, 12; Clarion, 
II ; Medora, 8; Fire Canoe, 6; and Minnesota, 3. The total re- 
corded trips were thus 394, an increase of 102 over the year be- 
fore. The steamboats Belfast and Equator and the barge Min- 
neopa also plied on the river this year, but the number of their 
trips cannot be given. 

In 1S59, the river broke up early after a mild winter, and 
the Freighter arrived at Mankato, the first boat, on March 27th, 
having left St. Paul two days before. An abundant rainfall 
kept the river in good navigable condition its entire length 
through most of the season. The Favorite, an excellent side- 
wheel packet of goc^d size, built expressly for the ^linnesota 
trade by Commodore Davidson^ entered as a new boat this spring. 

As the water was quite high in the upper Minnesota, Cap- 
tain John B . Davis of the Freighter conceived the idea of cross- 
ing his boat over from the Minnesota to Big Stone lake and 
thence to the Red river, and accordingly about the last of June 
he attempted the feat. Whether the crew found too much whis- 
key at New Ulm or the boat found too Httle water on the divide, 
authorities differ, but all agree that the captain and hi-s crew 
came home in a canoe about the last of July, passing Mankato 
on the 25th of the month, having left his steamboat in dry dock 
near the Dakota line. The Freighter was a small, flat-bottomed, 
square-bowed boat. The Indians pillaged her of everything but 
the hull, and that, half buried in the sand about ten miles below 
Big Stone lake, remained visible for twenty or thirty years. The 
captain always claimed that if he had started a month earlier 
his attempt would have been successful. 

The steamboat arrivals at Mankato this year were in total 
I'll, as follows: 

From St. Paul From the West 

Favorite 44 4 

Jeannette Roberts 31 8 

Frank Steele 19 

Freighter 2 i 

Ocean Wave 2 2 


Time and Tide 
Isaac Shelby . 










The total arrivals from the ^Minnesota at the St. Paul wharf 
were 300, which included some boats, like the Antelope, which 
did not come to Mankato at all. Navigation continued this year 
until quite late, the last boat to pass down over the Little rapids 
being" the Jeannette Roberts on the 6th of November. 

In i860, the Minnesota again broke up quite early and the 
first boat, the Time and Tide, left St. Paul March 19th, reach- 
ing St, Peter on March 21st, and Mankato the next morning. 
The river was quite low this spring and none of the larger boats 
were able to ascend it. A number of small boats of light draft 
were, however, put into the trade instead, such as the Little 
Dorrit, the Eolian, v/hich Captain Davidson had succeeded in 
raising the fall before from the bottom of lake Pepin where she 
had lain since the spring of 1858, and the Albany, a small new 
boat of very light draft which Captain Davidson had built the 
winter before expressly for the ^linnesota in low water. The 
Jeannette Roberts managed to get up as far as Mankato a few 
times, and once in July, when there was a small freshet, even to 
the Sioux Agency. After a little rainfall in June, the Time and 
Tide, the Favorite, and the Frank Steele, came up as far as St. 
Peter for a trip or tv/o. Most of the time, however, the Albany, 
which the old settlers used to say only required a light dew to 
run in, was the only boat which could float at all above the Little 
rapids, p'or a time she supplemented the Favorite at the rapids, 
but finally the water got so low that navigation suspended entire- 
ly, except that the little Antelope kept her trips to Shakopee and 
Chaska. Cleveland's barges (for now he had two of them) had 
the monopoly of the Minnesota river traffic for the most of the 
■reason. They could carry ten or twelve tons each, and were 
^cpt busy until the river closed in November. There were only 
-50 steamboat arrivals at St. Paul from the Minnesota this year, 
^ind the Antelope made 198 of these. 

The spring of i36i opened with a big flood in the ^^^linne- 
^ota. The first boat, the Albany, left St. Paul on March 30th, 
and arrived at Mankato the ist of April. She was officered by 


J. V. Webber, capUin (who was now the owner, having pur- 
chased her from the Davidson company in March), Warren 
Goulden, first clerk, and Closes Gates, engineer. It was claimed 
by the older Indians and traders that the upper iMinnesota was 
higher this spring than it had been since 1821. In April the 
Jeannette Roberts ascended farther up the river by two miles 
than any steamboat hud ever done before, and might easily have 
accomplished what the Freighter attempted and failed to do in 
1859, P^-^s over into the Red river, if she had tried; for 

the two rivers were united by their high flood between lakes 
Big Stone and Traverse. 

This season the Minnesota Packet Company, of which Cap- 
tain Orren Smith was president, put two first class boats, the 
City Belle and Fanny Flarris, into the ri\^r to compete with the 
Davidson and Robert lines. The Fanny Harris, on her first 
trip, which occurred during the second wxek in April, went to 
Fort Ridgely, and brought down Major (afterwards General) 
Thomas W. Shennan and his battery to quell the southern re- 
bellion, which had just started. With her also went the Fav- 
orite and brought down jMajor (afterwards General) John C 
Pemberton, with his command of eighty soldiers, the most of 
whom, being southern men, were much in sympathy v/ith their 
seceding brethren. 

The City Belle made her first appearance at St. Peter and 
Mankato on May iSrh, under command of Captain A. T. Cham- 
blin. She was a fine side- wheel packet, and about the largest 
boat that ever entered the ^Minnesota trade. The river, tliough 
high in the spring, did not continue so very long, and by the 
last of June became so low that navigation above the rapids had 
to be suspended. 

The arrivals at St. Peter and ^lankato from below num- 
bered 66, as follows: Albany, 22 trips; Favorite, 18; City Belle, 
10; Jeannette Roberts, 9; Eolian, 4; Frank Steele, 2; and Fanny 
Harris, i . 

Boats below the rapids, however, continued to run the most 
of the season, and tlie total arrivals at St. Paul from the Min- 
nesota were 318. 

The barges of Captain Cleveland were kept busy in the 
traffic between ^vlankato and points below. The first shipment 
of wheat in bulk from the I\Iinnesota was made in June of this 



year, 1861, on one of these barges. It comprised 4,000 bushels, 
and was taken direct to La Crosse. Heretofore it had been 
^liippcd in sacks. Wheat had now become the principal export 
i'i the valley. During the earlier years nearly all the freight 
traffic on the river had been imported, but by this time the ex- 
jH-rt of grains had grown to be an important item. With so many 
I'.ulians in the valley the shipm.ent of furs, which at first had 
been about the only export of the country, still continued valu- 
rhie; but furs, because of their small bulk, cut but little figure 
in the boating business. This year the value of the furs from 
l!ie Sioux Agencies was $48,416; and from the Winnebago coun- 
try, Si 1,600. 

The spring of 1862 witnessed another great flood in the 
Minnesota, and navigation was opened by the Albany. She 
only got as far as Sr. Peter on her first voyage, arriving there 
on April 3rd, and reaching ^vlankato on her second trip on the 
13th. The Pomeroy, an excellent new boat, was put into the 
trade this spring by the Davidson company. Two small boats, 
i!ic Clara Hines and G. H. Wilson, entered the Minnesota also 
for the first time this spring. ^Messrs. Stagg and Handy of St. 
I'aul put a small boa*: called ''New Ulm Belle," which they built 
with the machinery of the Clarion, also into the Minnesota traf- 
fic, in charge of Captain Scott. The Favorite, officered by Ed-. 
win Bell, captain, and N. B. Hatcher, clerk, and the Jeannette 
K<>bcrts, officered by Nelson Robert, captain, and Jack Reaney, 
clerk, were active in the trade this year as usual. 

The register of boat arrivals at ^lankato for the year shows 
a total of 70, as follows : 

From belo\r 

From above 


Jeannette Roberts 


Clara Hines . . . 








G. H. Wilson 



Total 58 12 

The length of the period of navigation, from April 13th to 
Jijly 2oth, was three months and seven days. Wlicat shipped 


from Mankato on these boats amounted to 62,000 bushels, and 
8,000 bushels were shipped from South Bend. 

Below the rapids, navigation continued until late in Novem- 
ber, and the total ariivals at the St. Paul wharf from the Min- 
nesota were 413, the largest record in the river's history. The 
fall navigation may have been slightly stimulated by the require- 
ments of the Sioux war. Immediately on news of the outbreak, 
the Favorite, under Captain Bell, carried the first soldiers of 
General Sibley's command, with such arms and ammunition as 
could be hastily gathered at Fort Snelling and St. Paul, to the 
defense of the frontier, taking them to Shakopee and one com- 
pany as far as the Little rapids . 

The Jeanette Roberts was the first boat in 1863. She ar- 
rived in Mankato on April 3rd, and was there greeted by the en- 
tire population of the town, including about 1,000 soldiers, who 
made the echoes ring with their cheers . It was customary in those 
steamboat days for young and old, male and female, in every 
town along the river, at the deep baying sound of the first whisde 
to gather at the levee to welcome the first boat. To the lonely 
pioneer, the vigils of a long winter in the v/ilderness were trying, 
and the arrival of the first boat was an important event in his 
life, when he heard from his childhood home and the outside 
world, and when his exhausted larder would be replenished and 
a few relishes would relieve the monotonous round of corn cake. 

Much of the traffic this year consisted in transporting troops 
and supplies in connection with the Sioux war. The Favorite, 
the winter before, had been lengthened by cutting her in two 
and inserting a piece thirty feet long into the middle, just ahead 
of the machinery' and wheels. This materially increased the 
boat's capacity, but rather spoiled her appearance. She was 
taken entirely into the Government service this season, and one 
of her first duties v/«js the transportation of the 270 condemned 
Sioux from their Jvlankato prison to their new quarters at Dav- 
enport, Iowa. They left ^lankato on April 22nd, and the forty- 
eight acquitted Indians with fifteen or twenty squaws, who had 
been acting as cooks, went with them . 

During the winter, under the religious instruction of the 
missionaries, Williamson, Riggs, and Pond, a wonderful trans- 
formation had occurred in these wild savages of a few months 



before, — a transformation that proved sincere and lasting, — and 
as they sailed down the river, they sang religious hymns in their 
native tongue. Affecting, indeed, was the scene, as in passing 
Fort Snelling and St. Paul, where their squaws and papooses 
were imprisoned, they sang their favorite hymn, ''Have ^^lercy 
upon us, O Jehovah," to the tune of Old Hundred. 

In Tvlay the Winnebagoes w^ere to be removed from Blue 
Earth county to their new agency in Nebraska, and on the even- 
ing of the 8th of this month the Pomeroy and Eolian arrived at 
^^ankato to take part in the transportation of this tribe. Eleven 
hundred of them had already pitched their tepees in what was 
called Camp Porter, on the river bank just back of where now 
stands the Hubbard nnd Palmer mill in Mankato. A few days 
before, a party of them had killed two Sioux who were visiting 
their agency, and, stretching their scalps on a couple of hoops 
decked with colored ribbons and fastened to poles, they paraded 
the streets with them . On this night of ^lay 8th, from sundown 
to sunrise, the people of ^lankato were regaled with the tom-tom 
music and savage yells of the scalp dance. On Saturday, !vlay 
9th, they began to embark, 405 going on the Pomeroy, and 355 
on the Eolian. Both boats started from the Mankato wharf at 
two o'clock in the afternoon. Conspicuous on the Pomeroy's 
hurricane deck were planted the poles bearing the two Sioux 
scalps, around which sat, first, the war party of about twenty 
young bucks, half naked, their bodies daubed with mud and 
paint, and with wreatl.s of green weeds and grass on their heads, 
and next to them squatted a number of other warriors, all chant- 
ing in time with two or three tom-toms a monotonous ''He-ah, 
he-ah," as they journeyed down the river, — a scene quite in con- 
trast with that presented by their Sioux brethren on their de- 
parture two weeks before. The next day, the Favorite took 338 
of the remaining Winnebagoes, and on the 14th the Pomeroy 
came after the last of thein. In all there were 1,856 removed. 

Besides the traffic incident to military operations, there were 
J^hipped from Mankato alone over 60,000 bushels of wheat this 
J^pring. The Prairie du Chien Railway Company put a new 
I>oat, named the Flora, into the Minnesota river trade this season. 
She was a stern-whceler of about the size of the Jeannette Rob- 



The summer of 1863 was exceptionally dry, and though 
boats were able in May to ascend to Camp Pope, t^venty-five miles 
above Fort Ridgely, l:y the middle of June the river had fallen 
so that all steamboat traffic above the rapids was suspended. 

The imperative need of freight transportation in the valley 
became yearly more insistent, and the inability of steamboats to 
meet the demand, especially in periods of drouth, caused a great 
increase this summer in the use of barges, amounting to a new 
departure in the river trafhc. Hereafter, instead of carrying 
freight in large steamers, it v/as found much more expedient to 
carry it in strings of barges drawn by small tug-boats. Among 
others, ^lessrs. Temple and Beaupre of St. Paul put four barges 
into the Zslinnesota traffic to ship freight from Mankato and 
points between it and the Little rapids to Prairie du Chien . The 
total steamboat arrivals from the ^linnesota this year at the St. 
Paul wharf were 177. 

During the winter of 1863-4 the Davidson Company built 
a fine new packet, about 150 feet long, for the ^Minnesota river 
trade, which, in honor of the thriving town of the mouth of the 
Blue Earth, they christened "The TTankato." The citizens of 
that municipality, in appreciation of the compliment, purchased 
a fine silk flag to present to the boat on her first arrival ; but un- 
fortunately that opportunity did not come until a year later, for 
during 1S64 about the only boat which reached Mankato was the 
Jeannette Roberts on April i6th. 

The barge traffic Nourished, however, in spite of the low 
water, and steamboacs were used on the lower Minnesota. The 
total arrivals of steamboats at St. Paul from the Minnesota this 
year were 166; and of barges, 82. 

In January, 1865, the state legislature appropriated $3,000 
to improve the Minnesota river; and ]\[ajor E. P. Evans, of 
Blue Earth county, and John Webber, of Ottawa, Le Sueur coun- 
ty, were appointed commissioners to oversee the work. Accord- 
ingly in February ^lajor Evans with a force of fifty men cleared 
the river of snags, and later they made other improvements, 
which aided navigation considerably. 

. By tlie spring of 1865 the severe drouth of the last two years 
was broken. The first boat to leave St. Paul for the r^Iinnesota 



was the x-\riel on the second of April. She arrived at St. Peter 
on the 3rd, and at Mankato on the 4th . 

Among the new boats to enter the Minnesota this year were 
the IMolIie Mohler, Julia, G." H. Gray, Otter, ^.lankato, Lansing, 
General Sheridan, and Hudson. The MoUie ]\Iohler had been 
built the winter before for the Minnesota river trade ; she was 
125 feet long, and had accommodations for fifty-six cabin pas- 
sengers. Her captain was George Houghton. The Julia was 
a stern-wheel boat, built the same winter by the Northwestern 
Packet Company expressly for the 3^Iinnesota trade . lier length 
was 141 feet, her beam 28 feet, and her total capacity 300 tons, 
although drawing onlv seventeen inches of water. Jack Reaney, 
for years the popular clerk of the Jeannette Roberts, was her 
captain. The G. H. Gray was built in the spring of 1863 on the 
St. Croix. She was 139 feet long, 19 feet wide, and drew four- 
teen inches of water. 

The trade this year was quite brisk as long as the season 
lasted. The boats were able to reach St. Peter and ^Mankato 
for about two months in the spring, and by reshipping at the 
Little rapids were able to get to the rapids just below St. Peter 
for two or three weeks later. 

During the season ^ the number of steamboat arrivals at St. 
Paul from Carver and the Little rapids v/as 150; and from points 
above the rapids as far as from Mankato, 40. A few trips were 
also made to the upper ^^linnesota. The total arrivals from this 
river at St. Paul in 1865 was 195. This of course does not em- 
brace trips made by the Albany and other boats between the 
rapids and points above. Twenty barges, each loaded with 200 
barrels of lime from Shakopee, and 97 barges loaded with wood, 
averaging 40 cords each, from various points in the valley, also 
arrived at the St. Paul wharf. No records of the wheat barges 
were kept, as they generally carried their cargoes to La Crosse 
or Prairie du Chien, but they v/ere quite numerous. 

In 1866 the first boat to arrive at St. Peter and Mankato 
was the Chippewa Falls, on the 15th of April. The ]Minnesota, 
a splendid packet built the winter before at Cincinnati, entered 
for the first time this season. The principal boats engaged this 
year in the traffic were the Julia, Mankato, MoUie Alohler, Stella 


Whipple, Albany, Otter, Pioneer, Tiber, and Pearl. By the 
l6th of June there had been 38 arrivals at Mankato, which num- 
ber during the season was swelled to 50, having a total capacity 
of 3750 tons. 

The barge trade by this year had grown to immense propor- 
tions, over 175 barges being used. The Tiber towed out of the 
Minnesota and down the ^lississippi at one load a string of 
barges carrying 30,000 bushels of wheat. Some of the barges 
were of great size. Among the largest was one owned by Cap- 
tain Davidson, called ''Little ^lac," which was 142 feet long by 
"25 feet in width, of 114 tons burden. 

The wheat shipments from the principal points in the Min- 
nesota valley during 1866 amounted to 688,641 bushels, as fol- 
lows: From Belle Plaine, 45,000 bushels; Faxon, 12,600; Hend- 
erson, 29,400; Le Sueur, 22,000; Ottawa, 5,000; St. Peter, 
68,850; Mankato, 190,000; South Bend, 25,000; Shakopee, 106,- 
791; Carver, 80,000; and Chaska, 104,000. 

The navigation this year, however, was quite poor, owing 
to low water through most of the season. A United States sur- 
» vey of the river was made during the summer with a view to im- 
proving it. 

The arrivals at the St. Paul wharf from the Minnesota in 
1866 were only about 100. The decrease v/as probably due to 
two causes, first the construction to Belle Plaine of the St. Paul 
and Sioux City railroad, which cut off most of the boat traffic on 
the lower and most navigable portion of the river; and, second, 
that most of the frei<;ht was now being carried in barges, which, 
having no occasion to stop in St. Paul, passed down the Missis- 
sippi without being registered in the St. Paul wharfmaster's 

The year 1867 was exceptionally good for boating, as a fine 
stage of water continued during the entire season. The first 
boat to land at Mankato was the Chippewa Falls on the i8th of 
April . 

During the summer and until the first of September, the 
Mollie Mohler, Captain H. \V. Holmes, made daily trips be- 
tween Mankato and Belle Plaine, a distance of 175 miles, making 
close connections at the latter place with the St. Paul trains. 
She would leave Mankato every morning at 8 o'clock and arrive 
at Belle Plaine about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and then leave 



Belle Plaine on her return journey at 6 o'clock p. m. and 
reach Mankato by sunrise. As indicative of her speed, she would 
at times make the trip from Mankato to St. Peter, a distance of 
30 miles, in one hour and twenty minutes ; and as evidence of the 
abundant water in the rivers this season, the Mollie on the 9th of 
June ascended the Blue Earth and Le Sueur rivers to the Red 
Jacket mills, situated about where now the ^lihvaukee railway 
crosses the latter stream, and carried hence 425 barrels of flour. 
Up to September, when the Mollie Mohler retired, there had been 
166 steamboat arrivrJs at Mankato, of which the Mollie had 
made 87. 

After this the Otter ran quite regularly until the 30th of 
October, making two or three trips a week, and the Ellen Hardy 
and Mankato made a few trips, while the Ariel made regular 
trips between Mankato and St. Peter and the railroad terminus, 
until the river closed about the loth of November. 

Congress had made an appropriation of $7,000 this year to- 
wards the improvement of the river, and in July bids were re- 
ceived by Gen. G. K. Warren, government engineer, on two 
proposed contracts for such improvement, one covering the first 
section, reaching from the Redwood to Mankato. and the other 
for the second section, extending from Mankato to the Little 
rapids. Not much came of this river improvement project, and 
It was soon abandoned, as the advent of railroads into the valley 
rendered it unnecessary. 

The principal river casualty of 1867 was the sinking of the 
Julia two miles below Mankato on the morning of the loth of 
May. She struck a snag as she was coming up the river, under 
a full head of steam, well loaded with passengers and freight, and 
sank in twelve feet of water. None of the passengers were in« 
jured, and nearly all the freight was recovered, but the boat itself 
was a wreck. Her machinery and upper deck were eventually 
removed, but the hull lies in the sands of the Minnesota to this 

In 1868, the Chippewa Falls was agam the first boat at St. 
Peter and Mankato, arriving at the latter place on the 31st of 
March. Navigation was not nearly as good this year as the 
year before, yet by the first of May there had been over 50 steam- 
boat arrivals at i^Iankato. No new boat, as far as known, en- 
tered the river this year ; and quite a few of the boats prominent 



in the trade the prior season had disappeared, among them the 
well known ^lollie ^lohler and Jeannette Roberts. Most of the 
trade was confined to points above the terminus of the railroad, 
which by October had reached ^lankato, the first passenger coach 
on the St. Paul and Sioux City road arriving-there on the 6th of 
that month . 

The first boat to reach Mankato in 1869 was the Ellen Hardy 
on the iSth of April. The Otter, St. Anthony Falls, Pioneer. 
Tiger, and our old friend, the Jeannette Roberts, were engaged in 
the Minnesota trade this season, besides the Ellen Hardy. The 
business men of Xew irim this spring, seeing no immediate pros- 
pect of a railroad for their town, bought the little steamer Otter 
for $3,000, and put her into the trade between Xew Ulm and 
Mankato, where she made regular trips twice to three times a 
week. Pier average load of freight used to be 3,000 bushels of 
wheat. A number of trips were made to Redwood. The naviga- 
tion continued until rather late. On November 3rd, there were 
three boats imloading at once at the }iIankato levee: the Pioneer, 
Otter, and Tiger. 

The first boat to reach }^Iankato in 1870 was the Otter from 
New Ulm, on April 5ih ; and the I\rankato on April 13th was the 
first boat to arrive from St. Paul. During the early spring 
there was quite a brisk trade; and the smaller boats, like the 
Tiger and Otter, continued to run even through July and August. 
The arrivals at ^^lanliato in April and May alone numbered 43 ; 
and the total arrivals for the season were about 80. The ^Mankato 
brought down from New Ulm on the 2d of 'May 17,000 bushels 
of wheat on one load, and two days later the Dexter brought 
down in two barges -?i,ooo bushels. The Otter and Tiger plied 
mostly between Z^Iankato and New Ulm ; while the ^lankato. 
Dexter, and St. Anthony P^alls, made frequent trips to St. Paul. 
As an instance of the speed of the Tiger, it is stated that on 
May 14th she made t!ie run from Redwood Falls to Mankato in 
thirteen and a half hours. In the spring of this year the Jean- 
nette Roberts, one of the best known and longest in service of all 
the Minnesota steamboats, was sold to go to the Wisconsin river 
trade . 

lu 1 87 1 the Otter was the first boat again at ^fankato, ar- 
riving on April 4th from New Ulm. On April 15th came the 
Pioneer, the first boat from St. Paul. On April i8th, as the 




Mankato was approo.ching- St. Peter on her first trip of the 
season, she struck a snag a few rods below the present wagon 
bridge in that city and sank. Her passengers and crew received 
no harm . After lying in the river channel for over a year, she 
was finally raised and taken below, never to enter the Minnesota 
again. The Otter, Pioneer, and Hudson, were busily employed 
during April and ^lay (which was as long as navigation this year 
lasted) in carrying wheat and other freight from New Ulm and 
Redwood to South P>end. where it was transferred to the rail- 
road. It is said of the Otter, that on May nth of this year she 
made the run from West Newton to South Bend, a distance of no 
miles, in less than seven hours running time, being the quickest 
time the journey was ever made by any boat. She brought with 
her two barges loaded with 2,000 bushels of wheat. 

With this season ends practically the navigation of the Min- 
nesota river, for the Northwestern railway reached New Ulm 
this year. 


The Osceola, Captain Haycock, a small boat, ascended the 
river as far as Redwood once in the spring of 1872, twice in the 
spring of 1873, and once in the spring of 1874. The water, 
however, was quite low each season and navigation difficult. In 
1876, on the high water of the spring, the Ida Fulton and Wyman 
X. came up this river; and ten years later, in 1886, one trip was 
made by the Alvira. Again for ten years no steamboat was 
seen on the Minnesota, until, taking advantage of a freshet in 
April, 1897, Captain E. W. Durant of Stillwater ran his boat, 
the Henrietta, a stern-wheel vessel 170 feet long, with forty state 
rooms, on an excursion to Henderson, St. Peter, and Alankato. 

With the advent of civilization, the surface of the country 
has been exposed by cultivation so that much of the moisture 
which in the olden days drained into the creeks and rivers now 
evaporates, causing all of our streams to shrink to half their 
fonner size. Thus it has come to pass that he v/ho sees the Min- 
nesota of today wonders that it was ever a navigabl? stream. 
But the old settler who remembers the river in its prime, when 
it carried on its swelling bosom the commerce of its great valley, 
can sec in the dim vistas of the past a different scene; and many 


a tale of thrilling interest can he tell of those bygone days, when 
our sky-tinted river was navigable . 


The following are lists of the steamboats on the ^Minnesota 
river for each year, with the names of their captains when known, 
as compiled from the records of wharfmasters and from news- 
paper files. The totals of steamboat arrivals at the St. Paul 
wharf from the Minnesota river are also noted for each year . 

1850. Anthony Wayne, Capt. Dan Able; Nominee, Capt. Orren 
Smith; Yankee, Capt. M. K. Harris. Total arrivals, 4. 

1851. Benjamin Franklin, No. i, Capt. M. W. Lodwick; Excelsior, 
Capt. James Ward ; Uncle Toby. Total arrivals, 3. 

1852. Black Hawk, Capt. W. P. Hall ; Enterprise ; Jenny Lind ; Tiger, 
Capt. O. H. Maxwell. Total arrivals, 13. 

1853. Black Hawk; Clarion, Capt. Samuel Humbertson; Greek Slave, 
Capt. Louis Robert ; Humboldt ; lola ; Shenandoah ; Tiger, Capt. Barton ; 
West Newton, Capt. D. S. Harris. Total arri\^ls, 49. 

1854. Black Hawk, Capt. W. P. Hall; Globe, Capt. Haycock; Greek 
Slave, Capt. Louis Robert; Humboldt; lola, Capt. William H. Sargent; 
Minnesota Belle, Capt. Samuel Humbertson ; Montello; War Eagle. Total 
arrivals, 30. 

1855. Berlin; Black Hawk, Capt. O. H. Maxwell; Equator, Capr. 
Maxwell ; Globe, Captains Louis Robert and Edwin Bell ; H. S. Allen, 
Capt. G. W. Farman ; Humboldt ; J. B. Gordon, No. 2, Capt. Maxwell ; 
Montello; Reveille; Shenandoah; Time and Tide. Total arrivals, 109. 

1856. Berlin ; Clarion, Capt. O. D. Keep ; Equator, Capt. O. H. 
Maxwell; Globe, Capt. Nelson Robert; H. S. Allen, Capt. George D. Mar- 
tin ; H. T. Yeatman. Capt. Samuel G. Cabbell ; Humboldt ; Minnesota ; 
Reveille, Capt. R. 3*1. Spencer; Time and Tide, Capt. Louis Robert; 
Wave. Total arrivals, 207. 

1857. Antelope, Capt. George Houghton ; Clarion, Capt. John C. 
Hoffman; Equator, Captains Marvin and Sencerbox; Fire Canoe; Frank 
Steele, Capt. Davidson; Isaac Shelby, Capt. Bishop; J. Bissell, Capt. Mar- 
vin ; Jeannette Roberts. Captains Thimens and Simmons ; Medora, Cap- 
tains Charles T. ' Hinde and McLagan; Minnesota, Capt. Sencerbox: 
Ocean Wave; Red Wing; Time and Tide, Capt. Louis Robert. Total ar- 
rivals, 292. 

1858. Antelope, Capt. George Houghton; Belfast; Clarion; Equator; 
Fire Canoe ; Frank Steele, Capt. William F. Davidson ; Freighter, Capt. 
John B. Davis; Isaac Shelby, Capt. Bishop; Jeannette Roberts, Capt. 
Thimens; Medora, Capt. Charles T. HinJ.e ; Minneopa (barge), Capt. 
J. R. Cleveland; Minnesota; Ocean Wave; Time and Tide, Capt. Nel- 
son Robert. Total arrivals, 394. 





1859. Antelope, Capt. George Houghton; Belfast; Eolian ; Favorite, 
Cnptains Edwin Bell and Peyton S. Davidson; Frank Steele, Capt. P. S. 
Duvidson; Freighter, and Isaac Shelby, Capt. John B. Davis; Jeannette 
Roberts, Capt. L. Robert; Minneopa (barge), Capt. J. R. Cleveland; 
Ocean Wave ; Time and Tide, Capt. N. Robert. Total arrivals, 300. 

1860. Albany, Capt. John V. Webber ; Antelope, Capt. George Hough- 
ton; Eolian, Capt. Thimens ; Favorite, Capt. P. S. Davidson; Frank Steele, 
Capt, N. B. Hatcher; Jeannette Roberts, Captains N. "Robert and F. 
Aymond; Little Dorrit; Minneopa (barge), Capt. Cleveland; Time and 
Tide, Capt. N. Robert; Victor (barge). Total arrivals, 250. 

1861. Albany, Capt. Webber; Antelope, Capt. George Houghton; 
Ariel, Capt. James Houghton; City Belle, Capt. A. T. Chamblin; Clara 
Hines ; Eolian; Fanny Harris; Favorite, Capt. P. S. Davidson; Frank 
Steele; Jeannette Roberts; Victor (barge). Total arrivals, 318. 

1862. Albany, Capt. Webber; Antelope, Capt. George Houghton; 
Ariel, Capt. James Houghton; Clara Hines; Favorite, Capt. Edwin 
Bell; G. H. Wilson; Jeannette Roberts, Capt. N. Robert; New Ulm Belle, 
Capt. Scott; Pomeroy. Total arrivals, 413. 

1863. Albany, Capt. Webber; Antelope, Capt. George Houghton; 
Ariel, Capt. James Houghton; Eolian; Favorite; Flora; G. H. Gray; 
Jeannette Roberts, Capt. N. Roberts ; Pomeroy ; Stella Whipple. Total 
arrivals. 177. 

1864. Albany, Capt. Jones ; Ariel, Capt. James Houghton ; Express ; 
Firesides, Capt. Joseph Hopkins; Henderson (barge), Capt. Frank 
Aymond ; Jeannette Roberts ; Mollie ^lohler, Capt. George Houghton ; 
Monitor; St. Cloud, Capt. James Houghton; Stella Whipple, Capt. J. V. 
Webber; Turtle. Total arrivals, 166. 

1865. Addie Johnson ; Albany, Capt. A. R. Russell ; Annie Johnson ; 
Ariel, Capt. H. W. Holmes ; Chippewa Falls ; Clara Hines, Capt. Spear 
Spencer ; Enterprise, Capt. Merrill ; G. H. Gray, Capt. Isaac Gray ; G. H. 
Weeks; G. H. Wilson; General Sheridan; Julia, Capt. John H. Reaney; 
Hudson; Lansing; ]\Iankato, Capt. J. V. Webber; Mollie Mohler, Capt. 
George Houghton; Otter, Capt. Bissell ; Stella Whipple, Capt. J. Web- 
ber; Tiger, Capt. A. R. Young. Total arrivals, 195. 

1866. Addie Johnson ; Albany, Capt. Harr>' Holmes ; Alice ; Ariel ; 
Chippewa Falls, Capt. Alex. Griggs; Damsel; Delaware; Enterprise; 
Flora ; G. B. Knapp ; G. H. Gray, Capt. Isaac Gray ; G. H. Weeks ; 
G. H. Wilson; General Sheridan; Hudson, Capt. Sencerbox; Jennie Bald- 
win, Capt. George W. Duncan; Julia, Capt. John H. Reaney; Lady Pike; 
Lansing ; ;Mankato : Minnesota ; Mollie Mohler, Capt. Harr>' W. Holmes ; 
Otter, Capt. Bissell; Pearl; Pioneer; Planet (barge); Stella WhippI-, 
Capt. J. P. Merrill; Tiber, Capt. Andy Miller. Total arrivals, about 100. 

1867. Ariel; Chippewa Falls; Clipper; Ellen Hardy; Flora; G. B. 
Knapp; Hudson; Jeannette Roberts; Julia, Capt. John PL Reaney; Man- 
kato; Mollie J^Iohler, Cn'A. H. W. Holmes; Otter, St. Anthony Falls. 
CapL Aaron Russell; Tiber. Total arrivals of steamboats, 100; of barges, 



1868. Ariel, Capt. James Houghton; Ben Campbell: Buckeye; Chip- 
pewa Falls; Clipper; Cutter, Capt. T. V. Webber; Ellen Hardy, Cant. 
Russell ; Flora ; G. H. Wilson ; Hudson, Capt. George W. Duncan ; Jean- 
nette Roberts, Capt. Robert; Mankato; Otter; Pioneer; WVman X. 
Total arrivals of steamboats, 80; of barges, 100. 

1869. Chippewa Falls, Capt. James Houghton; Ellen Hardy, Capt. 
Hardy; Jeannette Roberts, Capt. John Webber; Mankato, Capt. James 
Houghton; Otter; Pioneer, Capt. jMcLagan ; St. Anthony Falls; Tiger; 
Wyman X., Capt. Wyman X. Folsom. Total trips below Mankato, about 
50; above Mankato. about 80.. 

1870. Dexter ; G. B. Knapp ; Jeannette Roberts ; Majikato, Capt. 
James Houghton; Otter, Capt. John Segar; Pioneer; St. Anthony Falls; 
Tiger, Capt. Hancock. Total trips below Mankato, about 50; above Man- 
kato, about 100. 

1871. Hudson ; Mankato, Capt. James Houghton ; Otter, Capt. Bon- 
coeur Subilier; Pioneer. Total trips below Mankato, about 20; above 
Mankato, about 50. 

• 1872. Osceola, one trip. 

1873. Osceola, two trips. 

1874. Osceola, Capt. Haycock, one trip. 
1876. Ida Fulton ; Wyman X. 

1886. Alvira, one trip. 

1897. Henrietta, Capt. E W. Durant, one trip. 

In a single list, as follows, these steamboats of the Minne- 
sota river are arranged alphabetically, with information, so far as 
foimd, of their place and date of building, and their hull ton- 
nage. Where further details are at hand, "sd." and ''st." note 
respectively side-wheel and stern-wheel boats, and the figures in 
parentheses give the size of the boats in feet. 

Addie Johnson 220 

Albany Ottawa, Minn. 1S60 42 

Benjomin Franklin. No. i Brownsville, Pa. 1847 iSi 




Annie Johnson 


Anthony Wayne, sd 



Ben Campbell, st. (29 by 1S2} 
Ben Cnmpl):-ll [ye:ir iSl.8]... 

Shoustovv-n, Pa. 1852 2S7 

1850 37 

1861 67 
1858 156 

Black Hawk, st. (21 by 130 ' 

Rock Island, 111. 1852 130 



t":ty Btlle, sd Murraysville 1854 216 

<.;.ira Hines, sd 1861 80 

I'lurion, st : Monongahela, Pa. 1851 72 

Clipper Belle Vernon, Pa. 1855 68 

L.jtler 1867 92 

i>:.m>t\ 200 

U-Lware 168 

Dixicr 102 

1:1 Icn Hardy, st 1867 77 

Ijjtcrprise [year 1852] 

Enterprise 1865 80 

I'xWzn Brownsville. Pa. 1858 106 

}"quator, st Beaver, Pa. 1855 105 

l-xcdsior Brownsville, Pa, 1849 172 


F.itniy Harris Brownsville, Pa. 1855 160 

Favorite, sd ^ 1859 115 

Fire Canoe Lawrence 1854 166 


F'lora, st i860 159 

Frank Steele, sd 1857 136 

Freighter Zancsville, O. 1855 93 

<^1. B. Knapp 61 

(j. H. Gray, st (19 by 139) St. Croix River. 1863 5'^ 

C. H. Weeks 160 

H. Wilson 1862 100 

Cc-neral Sheridan, sd 1865 35 

Otobo 1854 

<ircck Slave, sd 1852 

n. S. Allen 

il. T. Yeatman, st Freedom, Pa. 1852 165 

H.-nderson (barge) 

Hrnrictta, st. (170 feet long) 

Hud'^on 1865 125 

Hnmboldt 1853 

Ma Fulton 220 

J"'a, st 1853 

J-'Vio Shelby 1857 ^00 

J 15. Gordon, No. 2 

J l^i^^ell 

J---nnctte Roberts, st 1857 JVJ 

j^iJTiic Baldwin, st ^93 

j'-nuy Lind Zanesville, O. 1851 107 

J St. (28 by 141) Pittsburg, Pa. 1865 15S 

^ • '!y P,ke 210 

I ^'.u.n\^ ^ 1865 84 

i--:!c Uurrit 



Little Mac (barge, 25 by 142) 114 

Mankato (about 150 feet long) , 1864 iij 

Medora 1857 10: 

Miniieopa (barge, 12 by 75) 

Minnesota Elizabethtown 1849 142 

^linnesota Belle (170 feet long) Belle Vernon, Pa, 1854 220 

Mollie Mohler, sd. (22 by 125) Carver, Minn. 1864 94 

Monitor 1864 15 

Montello 1853 

New Ulm Belle 

Nominee Shoustown, Pa. 1848 213 

Ocean Wave 1857 60 


Otter 1865 30 

Pearl Cincinnati.' 185 1 18; 

Pearl [year 1866] 51 

Pioneer 75 

Planet (barge) 


Red Wing 1857 150 

Reveille, st 1855 

St. Anthony Falls, sd 1866 .p 

St. Cloud 

Shenandoah 1853 

Stella Whipple 1863 74 

Tiber ' Marietta, O. 185 1 1S4 

Tiber [years 1866-67J 7^ 

Tiger, sd, Sauk County, Wis. 1849 84 

Tiger 1865 17 

Time and Tide, sd ' Freedom, Pa. 1853 

Turtle, sd. (14 by 100) Henderson, Minn. 1864 

Uncle Toby 1845 

Victor (barge) 


War Eagle Fulton, III. 1849 29^' 

Wave Elizabethtown 1848 S-; 

West Newton (150 feet long) 1852 ,00 

Wyman X., St. (22 by 120) Taylor's Falls, Minn. 1868 92 

Yankee 1849 

The first boats on this river for each year, and the dates of 
their departure from the St. Paul wharf (or, for a considerable 
number, as indicated, of their arrivals at St. Peter and Mankato), 
arc noted in the following table. 

Anthony Wayn**, June 28, 1850. 
Excelsior, June 29, 1851. 



Tiger, April 21, 1852. 
Greek Slave, April 4, 1S53. 
Greek Slave, ^larch 21, 1854. 
Globe, April 8, 1855. 
Reveille, April 10, 1856. 
Equator, April 12, 1857. 
Jeannette Roberts, ]Mn.rch 20, 18.58. 
Freighter, March 25, 1859. 
Time and Tide, Tvlarch 19, i860. 
Albany, March 30, 1861. 

Albany (arrival at St. Peter), April 3. 1862. j 

Jeannette Roberts (arrival at Mankato), April 3, i8«53. 

Jeannette Roberts (arrival at Mankato), April 16, 1864. ^, 

Ariel, April 2, 1865 (arriving- April 4 at Mankato). 

Chippewa Falls (arrival at Mankato), April 15, 1866. 

Chippewa Falls (arrival at Mankato), April 18, 1867. 

Chippewa Falls March 29, 1868 (arriving ]March 31 at Mankato), 

Ellen Hardy (arrival at Mankato), April 18, 1869. , 

Otter (arrival at Mankato from New Ulm), April 5, 1870; Mankato 

(arrival from St. Paul), April 13, 1S70. 
Otter (arrival at ]Mankato from New Ulm). April 4, 1871 ; Pioneer 

(arrival from Sr. Paul), April 15. 1S71. 
Osceola, May 15, 1872. 
Osceola, April 12, 1873. 
Osceola, April 25, 1874. 
Ida Fulton and Wyman X., April 18, 1876. 
Alvira, 1886. 

Henrietta, April 23, 1897. ; 

r ■ ^' 

f ^ 


f.. :>f ' 





1 i-s 



- i 

" -| 

JfixxEsoTA IIisioHic.vr, Sociinv. 
Vol. X. ri..vTK V. 




During the latter part of the year 1848 an invitation was sent 
me by a former fellow student, to join him in laboring as a mis- 
sionary among the aborigines of our country. He was about 
to graduate from the theological seminary near Cincinnati, Ohio. 
I had left my studies on account of poor health five years previ- 
ously, and had been residing at Saratoga Springs, N. Y. My 
health had so much improved, by living at the Springs several 
years, that I had married and was engaged in teaching school 
there . 

After due consideration of the matter, my wife and I con- 
cluded to offer our services to the American Board of Foreign 
Missions, to labor among the Dakota or Sioux Indians. Our 
offer was accepted and a commission was sent to us from the 
officers of the Board. 

But it was now too late in the season to undertake the journey 
to the Northwest Territory. Facilities for traveling, especially in 
that direction, were not what they are now. Such a place as 
Minnesota was not then known. The location assigned to us was 
described as follows : ''An Indian village on the west bank of 
the upper Mississippi river, a few miles above lake Pepin." 

We postponed our journey till the following spring. Dur- 
ing the month of March in that year, a new territory, called 
Minnesota, was formed by act of the United States Congress. 
So we learned, before we left the East, that our future home 
would be in Minnesota Territory. 

•Presented at the luonthlv meetiuc: of the Executive Council, May 12, 1992. The 
•'Ubor was boru in Orford, N". H., April 4, 1816. and has lived in Red Wiag since 13*9. 




Many friends living in the New England states seemed to 
claim a farewell visit from us before we could start for the west. 
We made therefore a tour of visiting in Vermont, New Hamp- 
shire, and Massachusetts, in the month of April, and we also met 
the officers of the mission board at Boston to receive such instruc- 
tion as they would give. These visits consumed several weeks. 
Some time in May we returned to Saratoga Springs, packed our 
necessary housekeeping goods, and shipped them to a mercantile 
firm in Galena, 111., as freight. 

Bidding farewell to our neighbors and friends at our de- 
lightsome home in New York, we started in a stage coach for 
the west. At Schenectady we took cars for Buffalo, and thence 
came to Chicago through the great lakes by steamboat. There 
were no railroads from Chicago to the Mississippi at that time. 
Having been informed that a horse and open wagon would be 
needed at our destined mission station, I purchased such a con- 
veyance while in Chicago, and with it we made our way to 
Galena. This was by far the most toilsome part of our journey. 
The highways were scarcely changed from their natural condi- 
tion. The streams were without bridges, and many swampy 
places let our wagon wheels sink so that we were often "stuck 
in the mud." But we struggled on, gathering rich experience 
for future work in a new country, and after several days arrived 
safely in Galena. At that place we were detained a few days 
waiting for a steamer to take us to the end of our journey. 

Our freight, shipped from Saratoga to this place, had not 
yet arrived. Being instructed by the missionary helper who was 
already at Red Wing, I purchased a stock of provisions and gro- 
ceries, and also a good milch cow, while in Galena. With these 
additional equipments, we were transported on the steamer Frank- 
lin to our future home in a wigwam village. 


The last stage of the journey was accomplished without 
much labor or anxiety of mind. The natural scenery along the 
banks of the ''Father of Waters" at that season of the year was 
new and enchanting. We made several acquaintances among 
our fellow passengers. One of them was Henry IM. Rice, who 



had for some years been engaged as a trader among the Indians . 
I shall never forget how he pointed out to me the place where 
I was to land. While we stood on the upper deck of the steamer, 
as it was plowing its way through lake Pepin, he said to me, 
"Look yonder/' pointing up the river valle\-, ''do you see that 
oval hilltop rising above the tall trees on the rivers border?'' 
*'Yes/' I answered. "Well, that marks the place where we are 
to leave you." 

In about an hour our boat gave the signal for landing, as she 
turned toward the end of Barn bluff. As we slowly approached 
the shore, a large number of Indians from the village had collect- 
ed, evidently eager to know why a steamboat should stop at tlieir 
port. It was a strange sight to many of the passengers on board 
the boat, who were on their way to the new towns of St. Paul 
and Stillwater, to see such an array of painted faces gazing at 

The Indians seemed glad to see us who landed among them. 
Men, women, and children, all gave us a hearty hand shake. 
Our belongings were soon dumped ashore, with the exception of 
the horse and cow. These two animals stoutly objected to being 
sent ashore. It was mainly by human strength that they were 
compelled to walk the plank. Evidently they had not been ac- 
quainted with painted faces and blankets. The thought of being 
now far separated from friends and excluded from the civilized 
portion of the world was not a pleasant one to us, but it seemed 
a greater grief to our horse and cow. 

There were three white persons then living in the village, 
who soon met us with a hearty welcome, and assisted us to estab- 
lish our home in a log-house. These were Rev. John F. Alton 
and wife, who had been here a few months only, and Mr. John 
Bush, who had married an Indian wife, and who had been sent 
here to assist the natives as a farmer. 


This Red Wing band of the Dakotas had been accustomed 
to white missionaries some years before we came, but these mis- 
sionaries had given up the work and abandoned the place. They 
were from Switzerland. While here they built two very com- 
fortable log dwelling houses. A small garden fenced with rails, 



and other improvements, the result of their labors, awaited our 
occupancy . 

The fact that these Swiss missionaries had g-ained the con- 
fidence of the people, and that their efforts had been appreciated, 
was made plain when they applied through their chief to the 
United States Indian agent at Fort Snelling for other mission- 
aries to be sent to them . It is perhaps hardly necessary to add 
that our coming was ihe result of such application. 

Two brothers, Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, were the 
first American missionaries to the Dakotas. Drs. Thomas S. 
Williamson and StepTien R. Riggs soOn followed them. But 
all of these were occupying stations northwest of Red Wing, 
The Pond brothers had been laboring beyond Fort Snelling about 
fourteen years. They had already reduced the language to 
writing, and a number of elementary works had been printed in 
the Dakota language. These books were a great help to us in 
the beginning. But in order to speak the language correctly, 
time, patience, and frequent conversation with the people, were 
absolutely necessary . 


We spent the remainder of that summer in learning the 
language, and in doing what we could to teach the children how 
to read it. Books were sent us by the pioneer co-workers, sim- 
ilar to the "First Readers'* used in our common schools, contain- 
ing short simple sentences describing familiar objects and actions. 

Some parents at first seemed unwilling to have their chil- 
dren come to us to be taught. Those who did come were very 
irregular in their attendance. It often happened that we had 
only three or four pupils a day, and these were generalh- unwill- 
ing to stay long In the schoolroom. To be kept in one room for 
any great length of time was quite against their nature. The 
work seemed like trying to tame a lot of young foxes. 

To restrain them by force was utterly impracticable. The 
children were wild and loved freedom. It would not do for us 
to detain them in the schoolroom longer than they were will- 
ing to stay. It took months of patient and persevering labor, 
of bribing with cakes and raisins, to get the children into any- 
thing like regularity in their attendance at the mission school. 



Occasionally the parents would interest themselves enough 
to give us their assistance, and after a time we began to have 
from twent}- to thirty pupils a day. But the custom had become 
pretty well established that when a child had read one lesson, he 
or she could leave for that day . As they were permitted to come 
and go at their ovyn pleasure, we might have a few pupils early 
in the day, who would read and then leave us : ' others coming 
later would do the same, and so on. Thus one teacher could 
easily attend to thirty or more the same day. 

'After the corn began to ripen in August, many of the older 
children were kept from coming to read. They were engaged 
in the cornfields to scare away the blackbirds. Soon after the 
com was harvested, the people of the village began to prepare 
to leave their bark wigwams, take their tents, and go away for 
the winter. 

It was their custom to separate into small companies, and 
to go in dififerent directions into the woods to live during the 
cold weather. The nark houses at the village were only com- 
fortable to live in during the summer. It required a little 
too much self-denial for us to follow them into the woods and 
dwell in skin tents all winter. Yet we learned that one of the 
Fond brothers tried the experiment. 

Our native citizens were nearly all gone by the last of Octo- 
ber for their winter hunt. The foreigners were left to them- 
selves. But still there was work for us to do. We had as yet 
acquired but a limited knowledge of the language. We ob- 
tained a manuscript dictionary from the pioneer co-workers, 
which contained several thousand words of the Dakota tongnie, 
with the definition of each in English. This we had for copying 
and study. But myself and wife were called to another field of 
labor during the winter. 


About the first of November, 1849, Rev. David Lowry 
came to Red Wing with an urgent request that my wife and I 
would go with him to Long Prairie. There were openings for 
us as teachers in the government school for the Winnebago In- 
dians at that place. He thought it too late in the season to ob- 
tain suitable teachers from the East. 


The prospect that we should have no children to teach at 
Red Wing" led us to consent to go for the winter. Packing up 
such clothing as would be needful, we were soon on board a 
steamer for St. Paul. From" thence we traveled to Long Prairie 
in a lumber wagon drawn by two horses. At St. Paul we ob- 
tained a supply of provisions for the journey to the Winnebago 
reservation. The distance was said to be 150 miles, through 
an uninhabited wilderness. Our load was four passengers with 
their baggage and a driver. We left St. Paul on a Monday 
'morning and arrived at our destination on the following Satur- 
day. It was a long, lonely journey through the wilderness, the 
more fatiguing because on frozen ground. Through the forest 
the road passed over stumps where the trees had been cut dov/n, 
leaving an open space v.-ide enough for a team to go through. 

We camped out at night by the primitive roadside, sleeping 
on the ground in blankets and buffalo robes around the camp- 
fire. We cooked our fresh beef by holding it on sticks before 
the fire. Such traveling was indeed a novelty. On the last 
day of the trip, while going over a stump, one of the axletrees 
of our wagon was broken, and we were at a standstill for a short 
time. Soon, however, the living part of the expedition was 
moving on, some going on horseback, and the rest on foot, leav- 
ing the lumber wagon and heavy baggage to be sent for another 
day. We arrived at our destination on Saturday evening after 


Long Prairie was then quite a large village of Winnebago 
Indians living in log houses. Their school was supported by 
the L^nited States government. The school building contained 
two large rooms, one for tlie boys, the other for the girls. The 
work was very different from that we had at Red Wing. There 
were from fifty to seventy pupils, regular in attendance, and we 
taught them wholly in tlie English language. We enjoyed the 
'winter there. 

When spring opened we were earnestly requested to return 
to Red Wing. Mr. and Mrs. Alton, our co-laborers there, had 
determined to leave the field and go back to the States. We 
were given to understand that, if we did not return, the Red 
Wing band would be left without teachers by the first of July. 



As we had only asked leave of absence for the winter, we felt 
it a duty to return. The time for leaving Long Prairie was put 
off till June. 


The spring had been backward and rainy. Streams and 
swamps were almost impassable for teams; and therefore, after 
due deliberation, we concluded to travel by water. We took 
the longest way round to be our shortest way home . Obtaining 
a skiff, we started on the Long Prairie river, which runs north- 
erly and empties into the Crow Wing river. The latter runs 
easterly, and, we were informed, would convey us to the Mis- 
sissippi river. 

It was a bright morning in June when we went aboard our 
boat. Besides myself, wife, and our little child, a young man, 
wishing to leave the place, took passage with us for St. Paul. 
He was a great help to us, being skillful in the use of oars. With 
our necessary baggage we took provisions for several days, be- 
cause we could not expect to see any human habitation until we 
should arrive at Fort Ripley. This fort was at the time occupied 
by United States soldiers, and was on the Mississippi a few 
miles below the mouth of the Crow Wing river. 

We enjoyed our first day's journey down the winding 
stream, till the middle of the afternoon. Then we noticed that 
some clouds had begun to spread over the sky, hiding the sun. 
Soon muttering thunder was heard, and evidently a shower was 
near. We turned our boat to shore, and had just time to haul 
it upon the land and turn it bottom upwards, putting ourselves 
and lading underneath it, when the rain began to pour down in 
torrents. Shower after shower followed till night came on, 
and we remained there until the light of another day dawned 
upon us. The clouds had disappeared, and we launched our 
boat again. 

Still and smoothly we passed along the winding stream. 
Before noon we entered a forest. As the forest became more 
dense our river began to widen out until it seemed to be covering 
the whole country. The frequent rains had caused a flood. 
Keeping as best we could in a northerly direction, we soon found 
that we had left the true channel by going into a bay. After 
rowing about between the tall trees for some time, and watching 


the course of the currents, we found the way back into the Crow 
Wing river. 

There we turned easterly, and had been pursuing our new- 
course^ but a few hours when we were overtaken bv three lon^ 
birchbark canoes, filled with Indians. It was a delegation of 
Menominees, who, with their agent, had been looking over the 
country for a desirable place for settlement. They were now 
returning home. They came alongside with about twice our 
speed. Seeing one white man among them, I hailed him for 
information as to our present distance from Fort Ripley. He 
did not know the distance, but they expected to reach the fort 
by sunset of that day. It would be impossible, however, for us 
to get there in our skiff till near midnight. I asked them to take 
Mrs. Hancock and our baby aboard, and to put them in care of 
an officer's family at the fort. They granted my request, and 
the three canoes were soon out of sight. 

The young man and I pushed on until after sundown . Then 
we tied up our craft and slept in the woods, or rather we should 
have slept if the multitudes of mosquitoes had let us alone. We 
re-embarked the next morning early, and arrived at the fort 
before noon, where we found my wife and child, who had been 
well cared for since we parted. 

After a short rest our company were again on board the 
skiff, and were passing down the Mississippi river. The water 
was high and the current swift, and the boat moved on without 
hard rowing, — especially when we passed over Little falls and 
the Sauk rapids. Our little vessel went tossing up and down 
over the latter. 

We met no further danger till we came to Saint Anthony 
falls, where we were fortunate enough to find a team of horses 
and a lumber wagon to convey us with our boat around the falls . 
Below them we launched again, and soon arrived at the village 
named St. Paul. From that point we obtained passage on a 
steamboat to Red Wing. 

Our former Dakota friends, especially the children, gave us 
a hearty welcome. Frequent calls and warm handshakes were 
received from all tlie wigwams the first day. The other mis- 
sionary family had left the place only a day or two before. 




Our first and most important work consisted in learning to 
use the Dakota language. The people were very kind to help us 
in this matter by using signs. The work of writing down new 
words with their, meaning in English occupied the most of our 
spare moments. 

A day school was opened for the children as soon as pos- 
sible. While in St. Paul I purchased a good-sized hand bell, 
with which to let the children know the time to assemble at the 
schoolroom. This one step toward regularity was hailed with 
enthusiasm. I soon found another incentive quite helpful in 
securing regular attendance. I bought raisins by the box, and 
a few, such as a child could hold in one hand, given at the 
close of school, were almost sure to bring the child next day. 
I had learned that regular attendance at the government school 
at Long Prairie was the result of daily rations which were dis- 
tributed to the children at the close of school. 

The older people were very friendly, making frequent calls 
on us, and they aided us much in acquiring their language. They 
often came to ask for sugar or a little flour. But when they 
came after such things, they brought pay, either some fresh 
fish, a choice piece of venison, or wild fowl. 

The women were engaged in the summer season a part of 
the time in their cornfields, besides attending to cooking, etc. 
The men were hunting and fishing to such an extent as to keep 
their families well supplied. They did not kill game just for 
sport. This countrv was then well stocked with wild game. 
I did not wonder that the Dakotas were so much opposed to sell- 
ing it, when commissioners were sent to make a treaty with them 
in 185 I. 

Wisconsin had become a state only the year before we came 
to Red Wing. The western portion, above lake Pepin, had very 
few settlers for some years, owing to the fact that the land was 
then covered by a dense forest, which afforded great advantages 
to our Dakota hunters. 

During the summer of 1849 white man was living on 
the Wisconsin side a few miles above Red Wing, whose chief 



employment consisted in furnishing wood for steamboats. He 
was then a bachelor, and used frequently to come to our services 
on the Sabbath. 

But in this summer of 1850, we learned there was another 
settler who had built his shanty and laid claim to a quarter sec- 
tion of land a little farther up the Mississippi on the Wisconsin 
side. He did not prove a very good neighbor. It was soon 
learned that he was engaged in selling whiskey to anybody wish- 
ing to purchase. The inhabitants of our village, who were often 
hunting in the woods of Wisconsin, soon began to be his cus- 
tomers. They exchanged their pelts and furs, or whatever they 
had tQ spare, for whiskey. The trader could also furnish jugs 
and tin-pails, in which the hunters were able to bring some home 
for their friends. 


Whenever a few gallons of whiskey (called "^linne wakan" 
by the Dakotas) were brought over to our village, we had an 
exciting time. An Indian did not consider himself responsible 
for what he did while drunk. Therefore, when even no more 
than three or four were drunk at one time, the w^hole village was 
in a state of alarm. A drunken Indian always seemed crazy to 
do some mischief. It was the custom of the sober ones to de- 
prive those who were drunk of every dangerous weapon. 

One warm summer day, while I was engaged with a number 
of pupils, the schoolroom door being open, a tall man, crazed 
with whiskey, rushed in upon us. The children were all fright- 
ened, and I was somewhat in the same condition, but tried not to 
appear so. He was without a blanket, and stalked around the 
room with an angry look. I finally took hold of one of his bare 
arms and led him to the open door, and he left. 

Such disturbances became so frequent, toward the end of 
the summer of 1850, that I determined to do something to pre- 
vent them. Hailing a passing steamer, I took a trip to St. Paul, 
and called on Governor Ramsey, and told him of our trouble. I 
knew there was a company of United States soldiers at Fort 
Snelling, and asked if he could send some of them down to drive 
away the whiskey sellers. The Governor expressed his indig- 
nation that such a trade was going on, but Wisconsin was a 
sovereign state, entirely beyond his jurisdiction, and I must go 



to the proper authorities for redress. Of course a poor mission- 
ary could not spend the time, nor incur the expense, of a journey 
to Madison, Wisconsin, as travehng faciHties were then. 

I did some temperance work among the Dakota people 
during the few years they remained at Red Wing, an account of 
which is given in a history of Goodhue county, pubUshed in 

Whiskey could be obtained on the opposite side of the river 
at any time for money, furs, or anything valuable which an In- 
dian could part with. They were not moderate drinkers. They 
wanted enough to make them drunk when they wanted any. 
Several would put their valuables together, go over and purchase 
several gallons of whiskey, bring it to the village, and then have 
a grand spree. As an Indian was not responsible for what he 
did when drunk, these sprees often ended in injury to some one, 
and custom gave the injured one no redress. Consequently, 
when but a few men were crazed with whiskey, the v.'hole village 
was on the watch. Every dangerous weapon had to be taken 
from them, and the children were kept out of sight if possible. 

I remember being called upon early one morning to dress a 
wound which had been inflicted upon the head of a woman by a 
drunken man with a hatchet. Only a week or so afterward I 
was walking by the tepees and heard a woman cry out, "Now 
they come with it." I looked around. She pointed to the river, 
saying, "^Minne wakan." I saw a canoe approaching from the 
Wisconsin side, and waited at the head of the path which led 
up the bank from the landing. There were six young men in 
the canoe. They came up the path in single file, the leader 
carrying a tin pail with a cover. I asked what he had brought 
in the pail. He answered, ''Minne wakan." I snatched the 
pail from him, and its contents were immediately soaking into 
the ground. Loud talk followed. I told them that whiskey 
was their worst enemy, that it was the cause of nearly all our 
troubles. I told them that it was unlawful to bring it on our 
side of the river, and advised them to stop bringing it. The 
young men looked somewhat ashamed, but offered me no viol- 
ence . 

I was told by some one a little later that the leader had said 
that he would bring more whiskey over, defying the missionary 
to spill it. Only a few more days passed before he made the 


attempt. The first intimation I had was when a man rushed - 
hurriedly into the mission house and called me -to come out. I 
went out and saw those same young men marching toward the 
house in single file. The leader was carrying a two gallon jug 
in front of him, boldly affirming that it was whiskey. I took it 
as a challenge. Grasping the jug with both hands, I tried to 
pull it from him, but in vain, for the reason that a strong cord 
which reached around the back of his neck was tied to the 
handle. He had kept the cord covered by his blanket so that I 
did not see it until after my vain attempt. However, I soon 
managed to draw out the cork and inverted the jug in spire of all 
his struggles to prevent it. Not one of his companions offered 
to help him. It took several minuses for all the whiskey to 
gurgle out of the jug. Meantime I was dragged around by the 
hair of my head, but I kept the jug inverted till it was empty. 

By this time a large number of the Indians had come to see 
the sport. My antagonist immediately threw the empty jug 
upon the ground in an angry manner. Evidently not liking to 
give up as entirely conquered, he stretched himself at full length 
on the ground just before the door of the mission house. The 
people began to disperse to their homes ; and I kindly asked 
him to go too. He declared he would not. x\fter waiting a 
while, I took a piece of rope and slipped one end around his 
ankles, tying his feet together. I then took the other end of the 
rope over my shoulder and dragged him several rods. He 
begged to be let up, promising to go away. The rope was un- 
tied, he got up, and went peacably away. 

If any more whiskey was brought over to Red Wing by 
those Indians, it was carefully concealed from me. Subse- 
quently I obtained pledges from about twenty of the leading 
members of the band to cease, for a time, from the use of whis- 
key, and only in one case did I hear of the pledge beihg broken. 


For the first two years I spent at Red V\'ing, I was busy, in 
spare moments, in writing out a dictionary of Dakota words in 
alphabetic order, giving to each its definition in English. This 
work was first accomplished by the older missionaries, I only 
copying from theirs. I finished this dictionary in July, 1851. 



It consists of 409 clo^ly written pages of foolscap paper, and 
has over 16,000 Dakota words with their meanings in English. 

About this time I had become so well acquainted with the 
language as to be able to speak it with a reasonable degree of 
accuracy, and ventured to appoint a religious service for each 
Sabbath, to which the Indians were invited. The children who 
attended school during the week days were generally present. 
,Only a few adults came at first. All seemed to be interested. 
But the year 1851 was a year of great excitement among these 
people . 


A treaty with the United States government, for the sale of 
their land, was to be made. This news had been disseminated 
for months in advance. The Red Wing band were much op- 
posed to any such treaty, and talked over their opposition very 
plainly. Some of the younger warriors, as it was known, de- 
clared they would shoot the first chief or head man who signed 
the treaty. But at the beginning of August of that year the 
summons came for all the seven bands of ]\Idewakantonwans 
to assemble at ]\Iendota to meet the United States commissioners. 

This call made a long vacancy in our school and missionary 
work. The treaty was made, in spite of all the opposition. Our 
people came back with a discontented look.. They seemed from 
that time to have los^ all interest in our labors for the children's 
education, or in their own improvement. They felt discour- 
aged, and it was no wonder. They would soon be obliged to 
leave their home, where their departed friends were buried, to 
be henceforth occupied by strangers, and must go themselves 
to a strange land. 

My labors were continued among the children, teaching 
them first to read their own language. Some of the older pu- 
pils learned English, and made a start in arithmetic and geog- 
raphy, before they were all removed to their new home in 1853. 

When it is remembered that we could have schools only 
during the season for corn raising, that the ciiildren could have 
no books to use during the winter, and that many interruptions 
occurred in the village during the summer, no one can wonder 
that progress in education was not great. Besides the excite- 


ments caused by whiskey, we had war parties, scalp dances, 
medicine feasts, and raw fish dances, which were frequc::: 
throughout the summer. 

White settlers commenced to make their claims at Red 
Wing in 1852. The Indians were all removed the following 
year, and my work for their beneiit ceased. 




On the 15th of October, 1851, the Rev. Solon \V. Man- 
ncy, rector of St. James' Episcopal Church, ^Milwaukee, re- 
ceived a letter from Capt. J. B. S. Todd, at tliat time in com- 
mand at Fort Ripley, informing him that the Council of Ad- 
ministration at that post had nominated him to the Secretary' 
of War as their chaplain. The official notice of his appoint- 
ment at Washington reached him on the 29th, and a few days 
later, having resigned his parish, he set out for his new field of 
labor . 


In 1851 the journey from Milwaukee to the ^Mississippi was 
by stage, x^t Galena he was met by Captain (now General) X. 
J. T. Dana. The day following his arrival he took passage 
with his family on the steamboat ''Uncle Toby," bound for St. 
Peter's, as ]\Iendota at the mouth of the ^Minnesota river was 
then desio-nated. 

Leaving Galena on the 15th of November, he notes as set- 
tlements along the IMississippi, Dubuque, Buena Vista, Cass- 
ville. Prairie La Porte, Clayton City, McGregor, Prairie 'du 
Chien, Columbus, Lansing, and La Crosse. The first settlement 
above La Crosse in 185 1, unless we except a trading house or 
two, was Point Douglas, where he arrived late in the afternoon 
of_November i8th. ''Here the boat left us." he writes, "refus- 

•Read at the niontlily meetinpr of the Executive Council, March 12. 1900. A Copr^ of 
this Diary, made from the origrinal by ocrniission of Rev. Dr. Manuey's daughter, Mrs. 
Klizabeth Tenuey, lias beeu presented by the author of this paper to tiie Historical Soci- 
eiy's Library. 



ing to proceed farther. . . . We secured a lumber wagon to 
take us to St. Paul. Arrived at St. Paul at 5 p.m. Called at 
the AHssion; took tea with the brethren'' [Rev. James Lloyd 
Breck and his associates] . 

Stopping as a guest at the Central House, he was delayed 
in St. Paul for several days, on account of the danger in cross- 
ing the river. It was not till the 3rd of December that he was 
aWe to resume his journey up the river. At length, on the af- 
ternoon of the 7th, he reached the Fort, where he was cordially 
received by Captain Todd, who came to meet him a few miles 
from tlie post, and invited him and his family to his own quar- 


As the first Chaplain at Fort Ripley was one of the Terri- 
torial Pioneers of Minnesota and passed the rest of his days in 
this new Commonwealth, a short account of his early life will 
not be out of place. 

Solon W. ^lanney was born at Hyde Park, N. Y., near 
Poughkeepsie, in the year 1813. His early life was passed at 
the latter place amid influences savoring of an ancestry which 
has given us not a few eminent names. His ancestors were of 
the Pluguenot faith. His father was a member of the Dutch 
Reformed Church, and his mother was of Quaker descent. 
Through the influence of his young associates, he was drawn 
towards the Episcopal Church, and was baptized into this faith 
by Dr. Whittingharn, afterwards the learned Bishop of Mary- 

Through his influence young Manney was led to prepare for 
the sacred ministry and became his pupil in the General Theo- 
logical Seminary in Xew York City. He graduated with hon- 
or in 1837, in a class which gave us several well known clergy. 
His commencement thesis was a criticism on "Edwards on the 
Will ;" but his propositions were so far in advance of the thought 
of that day, that the professor in charge of that department, 
while commending the production, would not allow it to be de- 
livered . 

Pie was ordained by Bishop B. T. Onderdonk, and for two 
years was rector of the Church, of the Nativity in New York 
City. Fired with zeal for work in the new West, enkindled by 
Bishop Kemper at his visits to the East, he came out to Indiana 



and for seven years labored at La Porte and ^vlichigan City. 
Pie was one of the pioneer clergy who organized the Protestant 
Episcopal Diocese of Indiana. 

Plis original destination had been the Territory of Wiscon- 
sin. In 1850. in accordance with his first intention, he came 
to Milwaukee, where in Xoveniber he took charge of the newly 
organized parish of St. James. While there he held several 
responsible positions in the Church. He was a member of the 
Standing Committee of the Diocese and the Missionary Board, 
and one of the exauiining chaplains. Wliile thus actively en- 
gaged and useful in his new field, he received the appointment 
of chaplain at Fort Ripley, our most remote military post on our 
northwestern frontier. 


The occasion of building Fort Ripley is supplied in a letter 
by Gen. N. J. T. Dana, as follows: 

Just after the close of the War with Mexico, the Government consum- 
mated a treaty with theWinnebago Indians, then residing within the limits 
of Iowa, by the terms of which they transferred to the United States all 
their lands in that state, receiving in return a beautiful tract in Minnesota, 
• the eastern boundary of which extended from near the mouth of the Crow 
Wing river southward along the Mississippi to a little below Sank Rapids. 

Among the obligations assumed by the United States by that treaty was 
the location and construction of a cantonment, and the stationing of a 
garrison thereat within the limits of the new Indian grant, near the mouth 
of the Crow Wing river. This condition was the cause of the unfortunate 
location of Fort Ripley. Brigadier General George M. Brooke, a veteran 
of the War of 1812, was at the time the commander of the military depart- 
ment which embraced the new Winnebago reservation, with his headquar- 
ters at St. Louis. Having received instructions from the War Department 
as to the location of the new post under the terms of the Winnebago treaty, 
he proceeded to Crow Wing in the month of November. 1848, with a 
squadron of dragoons and several staff-ofticers ; and, after reconnoitering 
the country, finally decided that the terms of the Winnebago treaty and hii 
instructions made it his duty to locate the new post on the western bank 
of the Mississippi nearly opposite to the mouth of the Nokasippi river. 

Being on duty in Boston at this time I received orders to report to Gen- 
eral Brooke, and did so accordingly, at the earliest possible moment, and 
found the Post already located, and the General about returning to St. 
Louis. I was an officer of the Quartermaster's Department, and he left me 
there to build the Fort. The country was already covered with snow. A 
portable saw-mill was put in operation, and the winter passed in getting 
out lumber and erecting temporary accommodations for a small gang of 


carpenters and laborers. In the spring of 1849, Company A of the Sixth 
Infantry at Fort Snelling was moved up to the new site, the commander 
of which was Capt. John B. S. Todd, who was the first commanding officer 
of the Post, called Fort Gaines, in honor of Brigadier General Edmund 
P. Gaines, then stationed at New Orleans. 

Subsequently his name was given to a new permanent fortification in 
process of construction. at the entrance of Mobile bay; and the cantonment 
in the Winnebago country was named Fort Ripley by the War Department 
in honor of Gen. Eleazer W. Ripley, a distinguished officer of the War of 
1812. This name was officially announced November 4th, 1850. 

General Dana superintended the work for two years. The 
builder of the fort was Mr. Jesse H. Pomroy, of St. Paul, who 
also had charge of the construction of Fort Ridgely in 1853-4. 

"Rev. Mr. 3.1anney, the first chaplain at Fort Ripley, was 
commended to us," says General Dana, ''by good Bishop Kem- 
per, and was elected before I left there. Rev. Frederick Ayer, 
a Presbyterian minister, who had been a teacher among the O jib- 
ways at Sandy Lake, had established himself near the lower end 
of the military reservation, on the east side of the river near 
Little Falls, and was most kind in officiating at one or two fu- 
nerals for the families at Fort Ripley. In the winter of 1850 I 
carried the venerable chaplain of Fort Snelling, Father Gear, 
to Fort Ripley in a sleigh, and we both enjoyed the visit great- 
ly. We also had subsequently a vist from Bishop Kemper and 
the Rev. -J. Lloyd Breck. The latter relinquished his work at 
St. Paul to Dr. Van Ingen, and removed to Gull lake." 

As the name of General Dana is thus associated with Fort 
Ripley, it may be interesting to note that a little later he became 
a resident of St. Paul. On the breaking out of the Civil War, 
he was appointed colonel of the First Minnesota, and was after- 
ward promoted as a brigadier general. 

The location of the post was on the west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi about twenty miles above the mouth of Swan river, and 
seven miles south of Crow Wing, at a point where the channel 
runs southwest. The distance by wagon road from St. Paul 
was one hundred and fifty miles. The road lay along the east 
bank of the ^lississirpi, with no approach to the fort except by 
ferry. The Post Reserve was a mile square and was surrounded 
by a dense forest. The fort was situated on a plateau elevated 
a little above the river, and consisted of several story and a 
half buildings constvuctcd of wood, forming three sides of a 



square, with the open side facing the stream. On the right, 
looking towards the quadrangle, were the quarters of the officers, 
the chaplain's residence, and the sutler's store; on the left, also 
quarters for officers, a room set apart for a chapel, and a hospi- 
tal ; while the third side was filled by the barracks for the sol- 
diers. The northwest and southwest corners were flanked by block- 
houses of logs, with port-holes commanding the sides of the 
fort. The houses stood some fifteen to twenty feet apart, 
so that there was a free entrance between, excepting on the 
east side where there was a stockade built of logs set on end. 


On the opposite side of the ^Mississippi was the Government 
farm, where Mr. S. Baldwin Olmstead had built a house and 
was engaged in and furnishing supplies. Seven males 
above, near the mouth of the Crow Wing (so named from the 
shape of an island at its mouth, fancifully likened to the wing 
of a crow), was die village bearing the same name, a mere ham- 
let, or trading post, on the verge of civilization. This was the 
terminus of the vragou road. 

About a mile above this village was the house of Hole-in- 
the-Day, head chief of the Ojibways (Chippeways), a crafty and 
subtle man, who ultimately came to his end by the hand of some 
unknown assassin. Three miles above Crow Wing, on the left 
bank of the Crow W ing river near the mouth of Gull river, was 
the Chippeway Agency. Eleven miles farther north, in the 
wilds up the Gull river, a rapid, rippling stream, flowing out of 
Gull lake, was the Ojibway Mission planted by the Rev. J. 
Lloyd Breck in the early summer of 1852, located at the north- 
east corner of tlie lake. 

Between Gull lake and Round lake, eastward, was the res- 
idence of Enmegahbowh, an educated Canadian Indian, who had 
been identified with missionary work among tlie Ojibways of 
Minnesota, but who had now become an interpreter for Mr. 
Breck and ultimately entered the ministry of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church. As the career of this remarkable man is closely 
connected with the history of this immediate locality, a brief 
account of his early life, derived from a narrative given by him- 
self, will not be foreign to our subject. 



The IiKiian missionary, Enmegahbowh, or, as he is al^o 
known, tlie Rev. John Johnson, was born near Peterborou^^hi. 
in Upper Canada, of Christian Indians, who led a wandering- lite, 
subsisting by hunting and fishing. While he was yet a lad. the 
Rev. Mr. Armour, of the Church of England,- visited the Indian 
camp and asked the parents to give him the child. At first the 
mother refused. A second visit was more successful, and the 
boy became a member of ^Mr, Armour's family and school. Af- 
ter some weeks the boy returned to the wigwam of his parents, 
carrying with him his books. Often long into the night watches, 
by the light of the fire he conned his lessons while the family 
were asleep. 

After some time a Methodist minister, seeing that he was a 
promising child, asked the mother to give him her son. The 
mother at last yielded, on condition that he should be allowed 
to return at the end of r. year. The day of parting came and the 
fond parents watched their boy as he embarked on the canoe 
journey to lake Superior. A twelvemonth he was at the Sault 
Ste. Marie. Then he went from place to place as an inter- 
preter. For a while be was at the La Pointe ^lission. At dif- 
ferent times he lived with the Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist. 
Unitarian, and Roman Catholic missionaries, and was a member 
of the missions at Red lake. Leech lake, Sandy lake, and Cass 
lake. But after years of faithful labor among the Ojibways, 
the Protestant missionaries withdrew from the field. 

"As I stood and saw these good men going down the river 
in their canoes." says Enmegahbowh, "and the last hope of my 
people passing from my sight, I wept. . . . Then I thought I 
would go back to my own people and home and get an education, 
that I might tell my people the right way ; but my friends here 
said, 'We will send you to school.' " 

Seven years were spent in study at an academy near Jack- 
sonville, 111., whence he returned to what is now Minnesota. 
Then there was not a white man in St. Paul. Leaving his 
tnmk at Fort Snelling, and taking with only his Ojibway 
Testament, he went northward into the wilderness and became 
an interpreter for the Methodists. When these also gave up 
their mission, he resolved to return to Canada, and set out on his 




long- voyage across the ''Big- Sea Water.'' A tempest having 
arisen in which all on board came near perishing, he changed 
his purpose, and, returning to his people, was on the point of go- 
ing to Washington with the chiefs to ask for a teacher, when, 
at the suggestion of the Rev. E. G. Gear, whom he had met 
at Fort Snelling, he resolved to ask the Protestant Episcopal 
Church to send therr, a missionary. At Philadelphia, on his 
journey, he received a letter from Father Gear, informing him 
that a man had been found who would go to his people. This 
was the Rev. James Lloyd Breck, the head of the Associate 
Mission in St. Paul. Such was the beginning of a life of loving 
.<;erv'ice to the Ojibway people, happily prolonged over a period 
of more than half a century. 


The first in command at Fort Ripley was Captain John B. 
S. Todd, from whom Todd county received its name, who after- 
ward was a leading citizen of Dakota, and identified with the ma- 
terial interests of Yankton. In 1854 he was succeeded by Major 
George W. Patten, poet, and writer on military science. For 
a short time in the summer of 1857, the post was without a gar- 
rison, and was in charge of Ordnance Sergeant Alexander. On 
the return of the troops, Major Patten again came into com- 
mand. On the removal of the military force, the Indians at 
Leech lake became troublesome, and it was found necessary to 
keep up the garrison, as was the case during the Indian troubles 
of 1862-3. After Major Patten, Major Hannibal Day was in 
command; and still later Capt. William S. McCaskey and Capt. 
John C. Bates, both of whom won distinction in the Civil War. 
and again, nearly forty years later, in the Philippine War. 


The Diary of Chaplain Manney covers the period of his 
residence at Fort Ripley, from December 7th, 185 1, to May 17th, 
1859, an interesting period in the early history of Minnesota. 
It notes the daily occurrences at the fort, matters of interest in 
the neighborhood, the phenomena of the weather, and speaks of 
personages well known in our early history. The chronicle also 
records the time of planting and ingathering of fruits. The 
chaplain is a disciple of honest Isaak Walton. He tells the day 


of his first shot on the wing. He is a student of Nature, an ob- 
server of animal life, of the phenomena of the heavens. He is 
the garrison schoolniaster. On an important occasion he was 
called to practice the art of Aesculapius. At another time he was 
prosecuting attorney in a criminal case. It is interesting to note 
'in this connection tliat the canons of the Episcopal Church in 
Minnesota were fram.ed in the chaplain's study. He has record- 
ed the more stirring events of border life, not simply the births 
and baptisms and burials, but the darker side of a life where 
civilization and barbarism meet and mingle, the outbreaks of 
unrestrained passions, by giving a continuous record of Indian 
affairs in his neighb^/rhcod for a period of over seven years. 

First, there is the regularly recurring mention of Divine 
Service and a sermon in the chaj>el on the Lord's Day. The 
serm.on was argumentative and logical, after the manner of the 
old English divines. His sermons were models of reasoning, 
and were afterward delivered before his students of theolog}'. 
They contained meat for mature minds, and his hearers, brought 
up under the old regime, listened with interest. The uneducated 
could hardly fail to receive a benediction in the presence of his 
genial face, from which the humanities were reflected. His 
manner in the sacred offices was reverential and impressive. 
Few could render the service of the Prayer Book more devoutly. 
His piety was not emotional. His religion was a reasonable ser- 
vice. He so lived as if man were made to be mindful of his 
higher obligation to a Divine Will, and of his chief end to glorify 
God and enjoy Him. It was a maxim with him that the Prayer 
Bock had made provision for but one sermon a Sunday. "^^ ^ 
note that the services were attended by the officers of the gar- 
rison. On Christmas day he writes: ''Divine Service, Sermon, 
and Holy Comnumion, — a good congregation, and a gocxJly 
number of communicants. Text: Peace on earth.'' 

Such was our chaplain : a man of medium stature, of Hoi- 
land ancestry, free-hearted and good-natured, v/ithout manner- 
ism or professional appearance, alike respected by the army otn- 
cers of the olden tinie and beloved by the common soldiers ; a 
versatile man, v;ell rend in book lore, yet familiar with the com- 
mon matters of daily liviiig, who could turn from the serious 



thoughts of the study to the innocent diversions of life. Who 
shall estimate the inliuence of such a man at a remote frontier 
post ? 

Then there is the Chapel, a simple room decently fitted up, 
no doubt by the ladies of the garrison, supplemented by the gen- 
erosity of the officers ; a voluntary Service, with no roll call ; a 
general meeting place, on a national platform under a common 

The only religious teachers in this region were Chaplain 
Manney, Father Pierz at Crow Wing, the Rev. ^Ir. Aver near 
Little Falls, and Father Vevaldi at Long Prairie. There 
were occasional ministrations at the fort by clergy from outside. 
Among these were Father A'evaldi, the Roman Catholic priest; 
Bishop Kemper; the Rev. Edward D. Xeill, D.D., one of our 
Territorial Pioneers, historian and educator; and odiers, as J. 
Lloyd Breck and E. Steele Peake, of St. Columba Mission. 
On one occasion the Chaplain had a pleasant interviev/ with 
Father Vevaldi, and conversed with him in Latin on ecclesias- 
tical questions. 


After a half century, it is still interesting to note the vari- 
ableness of the seasons at that early day, before the axe or the 
plowsliare of the pioneer could have wrought any climatic 

In 1857 the river closed as early as November 21st, the 
earliest closing recorded during all those eight years ; but in 
1S54 the river vras open at the garrison, and for a mile or two 
above, as late as the 26th of December. In 1854 the river oppo- 
site the fort was open, so that the ferry could cross as early as 
*die 2 1 St of March ; but in 1857 teams were crossing on the ice at 
Crow Wing as late as the 24th of April. 

The winter of 1S51-2 w^as comparatively mild, but variable. 
The coldest day of the season was January 19th, when the ther- 
Miometcr registered thirty degrees below zero at sunrise. In 
^852-3 the coldest d^-v was December 21st, when the thermome- 
■ «T indicated thirty-seven below. The severity of that winter 
'•vas relieved by mild and pleasant intervals. The December of 




1855 was unusually severe. At sunrise on the 24th, the mer- 
cury was frozen in the bulb, the coldest ever known at the po-: 
in December up to tliat date, and surpassed only by that of Jan- 
uary 24th, 1854. On Christmas the mercury congealed whc:i 
exposed, and the chapel service had to be suspended. The v/in- 
ter of i854r5 seems to have been unusually, mild, the coldest 
weather being only twentv-nine below, with rain early in Janu- 
ary. In 1858 the severest snowstorm of the season occurred as 
late as the 4th of April. 


Fort Ripley is. also interesting for its connection with the 
Indian Mission of the Episcopal Church at Gull lake. February 
2ist, 1852, the Rev. Tames Lloyd Breck^ accompanied by Chap- 
lain Manney, went to Crow Wing to see Hole-in-the-Day. The 
chief being absent, they returned without an interview. Early in 
March Hole-in-the-Day with his wives took tea at the fort, when 
the chaplain had some conversation with him as to the introduc- 
tion of Christianity among his tribe, and also concerning his own 
views and feelings on this subject. A little later the chief with 
two of his wives, and Enmegahbowh, called at the post to re- 
quest the chaplain to bury his child which had died that dav 
while they were on their way for medical aid. After consid- 
ering the matter, the chaplain consented, and took the opportun- 
ity to expound to thtm the doctrine of the resurrection. At tlie 
same time he resolved two questions that were asked by th.e 
chief: Whether it would be proper for him to have a feast in 
remembrance of his child? x\nswer, No. x\nd how his two 
wives whom he intends to put away should be treated? An- 
swer: He must see that they are comfortably provided for an 
protected, with the liberty of marrying again, when the obliga- 
tion of support and protection would cease on their marriag-^'. 
and that his children should have all the privileges of his family- 

Towards the close of April, 1852, Mr. Breck arrived at the 
fort again, on his way to Gull lake to see Hole-in-the-Day. ^I^i.'-' 
19th, accompanied by Craig and Holcomb, students, of the mis- 
sion at St. Paul. Mi. Breck made a third visit to the Indian 
country. After some difficulty he at length succeeded in gettni'4 
possession of ground for a mission, Hole-in-the-Day havin,;^ 



{)roved faithless. Daring the summer ^Ir . Breck made monthly 
journeys to and from St. Paul on foot, as his custom was. As 
tiie season passed, the prospect of work among the Ojibways be- 
came more encouragiiig, and on the first day of November, 1852, 
the corner stone was laid of the Indian Church of St. Columba, 
the first edifice of. the Episcopal Church on the west bank of the 

Meanwhile, the work of instructing the Indians in the wavs 
of Christian living went on apace. All were taught to work, and 
nothing was given without service rendered in return. The 
success of the efforts of Mr. Breck attracted official notice. At 
the end of the first \ear Governor Gorman, superintendent 01 
Indian Aft'airs for the Territory of ^linnesota, without solicita- 
tion, stated to Bishop Kemper his intention to apply to the De- 
partment at Washin^^ton for an annual gift to the mission of five 
hundred dollars. At the close of the second year both the gov- 
ernor and Major Herriman, the Indian agent, were so impressed 
by the results as to recommend the appropriation of the Ojibway 
school fund to the St. Columba Mission. At that time there 
was no other mission of any religious body among the Ojibways 
of the Mississippi. The Presbyterians also generously united in 
this application in behalf of the work of Mr. Breck. As a re- 
sult of this noble and Christian endeavor, ^Ir. Breck, as his 
custom was, placed upon the altar of the church at St. Columba, 
on the second Sunday after Trinity, in 1854, an oft'ering of one 
thousand dollars in gold, this being one third part of what the 
general Government was to give him that year. 

We have spoken particularly of the Vs'ork of ^Ir. Breck, be- 
cause of its connection with the Government and with Fort Rip- 
ley, and also because of the interest taken by Chaplain ]\Ianney in 
its behalf. Indeed, the latter was appointed by Bishop Kemper 
to make an examination and an annual report of the financial 
condition of the ^^lis^ion. If it be said that the Government had 
no concern with relii^ious work, it should be remembered that in 
diis case, as everywhere else, the fruits more than repaid the pro- 
tection the Post aft'oided the Mission; for it was only by the 
timely notice given by Christian Indians, in 1857, that Crow 
Wing was saved, and by Enmegahbowh at very great risk, in 
which prevented the garrison of Fort Ripley from being 




surprised, and averted a general massacre on our northern front- 
ier, like that perpetrcited by the Sioux in the southwest part of 
the state. 

The following- incident related by the chaplain will illustrate 
the thoughtful side of Indian character. It occurred in connec- 
tion with the laying of the corner stone of the Church of St. 
Columba. Two Indians came with Enmegahbowh to ask the 
chaplain some questions. It was in Mr. Breck's study at Gull 
lake. "The questions," says the chaplain^ "were well put. They 
related to the Church , the existence of moral evil, and the unity 
of the human race. I had a long conversation with them on 
each of these points, at which they expressed themselves grati- 
fied and satisfied. On taking out my watch to see the time, one 
of the Indians asked me whether day and night were of equal 
length. This resulted in quite a long conversation on astrono- 
my, at which they expressed great astonishment. 


How well the Chaplain served the Post appears from his 
Diary. There is the regularly recurring note of Divine Serv^ice; 
the children are gathered in school for daily instruction; the so- 
cial relations with the officers are carefully obser\-ed ; he ministers 
to the dying private; he notes the first communion, and records 
the birth and baptism ; he commits the body to the earth with the 
last offices ; he solemnized the rites of holy matrimony ; and by his 
chaplaincy vindicated cur claim to be a Christian nation. He does 
not forget works of mercy and charity. "A young Indian," he 
writes, *'died today from bronchial consumption, as near as I 
could judge. He was in v/ant; had been visited by ]Miss FLelps 
daily, and his wants supplied. A vast number die of this disease 
and inflammation of the lungs." 


In March, 1853, Chaplain ^Manney, with Captain Todd and 
the Rev. Mr. Breck, made a journey to Leech lake. This visit 
had a twofold object. Captain Todd was interested in scientific 
explorations, and ^Mr. Breck was already planning to extend his 
work among the red men. The chaplain combined the student 
and the philanthropist. The Diary contains the following: 
*'March 13th, Divine Service at Bungo's, which is the old mis- 




sion ground [of the American Board, ^Mr. and ^Irs. W. T. 
Boutwell] . Breck rejid the Service and I preached. The first 
Service of our Church that those wild regions ever Ustened to." 

Leech lake, so named from the leeches abounding in its wa- 
ters, was the home of George Bungo. a tall man, erect, well-built, 
very black, and. consequently, very striking in appearance. He 
enjoyed in the highest degree the confidence of men like the Hon. 
Henry M. Rice, and had a credit almost unlimited with the lead- 
ing merchants of St. Paul. He was educated at ^Montreal. Our 
chronicle says: "Left Leech lake about 9 a.m. for home, ha/ing 
been treated with great hospitality by George, who is a mixed 
blood, African and Indian. His father, he told me, was taken 
prisoner by the Indians near Chicago, or 3klilwaukee, about the 
latter part of the last centun,^ or the beginning of this. George 
was born on the St. Croix." 

In the early summer of 1853 another journey was made by 
the chaplain and ^Ir. Breck to Otter Tail lake. The party con- 
sisted of Breck, ^Nlanney, George Bungo, and two experienced 
voyageurs. The rou:e was up the fine and beautiful stream of 
the Crow Wing. The daily record begins with prayers and 
breakfast, and closes with supper and prayers. "One afternoon, 
caught a legged snake, called by the Indians okodigcnahik, said 
to be very scarce, cai;?'d by some of them tnanito, which has this 
singular property when struck, its tail would snap like glass." 
From the Crow Wing they proceeded up Leaf river, a crooked 
stream, whose windings dispersed its blessings widely. After 
morning prayer on Simday they proceeded on their way, nooning 
at a fine high bluff on which they said the Litany, and at night- 
fall camped on Leaf lake. The day following they passed suc- 
cessively through Leaf lake, really two lakes, with a short port- 
age to a third, and thence another portage to Otter Tail lake, 
which, the writer says, not more than ten white men had ever 

The purpose of this journey was to secure a site for another 
Indian mission. The day following their arrival, the Indians 
came in and sent word that they v/ere ready to see the visitors. 
Breck stated to them his purpose, to establish a mission among 
them, with the advantages they might expect from changing their 
mode of life. 



The chief answered by saying that "when the whites general- 
ly came among them they put sugar in their mouths, but we had 
not. We had spoken plainly, and from the heart.'"' He said 
that they were poor. "We have nothing but what we wear. 
We have no settled he me . Like the wild deer, our home is where 
night overtakes us." He then welcomed ]\Ir. Breck among them, 
gave him what land he wanted for the mission, all the timber he 
needed, all the fish h^ could use. He then indulged in the pros- 
pect of ''advantage which was likely to accrue to his band from 
the establishment of ih.e mission, in their improved condition, in 
teaching them to labor and draw their living from the soil, in the 
education of their children, in their happy homes. He talked 
very sensibly. The chief is a noble fellow. ^[cDonald, a w^orth- 
less trader at Crow Wing, had poisoned the minds of the princi- 
pal men against this mission, or any mission amongst them. But 
this did not deter the chief.'' 

After prayers and breakfast they went out and selected the 
ground for the mission buildings and the farm, a beautiful site 
with an extensive view upon the lake. "After an early dinner, 
and while the voyageurs were making the portage," the Chap- 
lain writes, "we went to the mission grounds, erected a cross, 
read the Tenth Selection, consisting of a part of Psalm 96 and 
Psalms 148 to 150, said the Gloria in Excelsis, the Creed, and 
some Prayers, and thus, as it were, consecrated it to God 'Most 
High, through Plis Son Tesus Christ." Then they entered their 
canoes and proceeded on their way home. At their former camp- 
ing ground they foimd two men bound for Pembina in the Red 
River country. One of their horses had been injured the day 
before and left to d'c. "Our party gave them what provisions 
they could spare for tiieir unexpectedly prolonged journey." 


. The account of an attempt to reach lake Superior carries us 
back to a condition of things we can scarcely realize today. 
Early in the month of October. 1854, in company with Bishop 
Kemper, the chaplain set out for lake Superior, to which the 
bishop refers in one of his reports. The route was up the Mis- 
sissippi by canoe, thence into Sandy lake, and onward with only a 
short portage between the waters tributary to that lake and those 
of the St. Louis, flowing into lake Superior. Experienced voya- 



ceiirs were required for this journey. Leaving- Crow Wing- on 
the 6th, they reached Willow river at noon on the fifth day after 
their departure. There it became evident that the voyageurs 
would not get them to Sandy" lake before Thursday nig-ht, which 
must necessarily prevent them from getting to Superior before 
Monday or Tuesday !iight of the following week, thus comipelling 
them to spend three successive Sundays in the wilderness. 

Upon consultation it was thought useless to proceed, where- 
upon the Chaplain gave the order to return. The principal voy- 
ageur refusing, they left him, and, placing an Indian in the stem, 
and himself taking a paddle in the bow, they reached their last 
camping place about rundown. 

The next morning at breakfast three Indians and a halfbreed 
came into camp from Sandy lake, bound for Crow Wing. One 
of these was hired to go in the canoe . About noon the following 
day, Mahnanik, the Indian whom they had first hired at Rapid 
river, took in his wife and child. At Crow Wing the second. 
Indian left. So thev put the squaw in the stern, and proceeded 
on, — "the crew now consisting of Chaplain Manney in the bow, 
Mahnanik at the oars, his squaw in the stern, — and, as passen- 
gers. Bishop Kemper and the papoose. We arrived at the gar- 
rison about 2 p. m., after an absence of nearly nine days." 


The withdrawal of the troops from Fort Ripley, which had 
been under consideration for some time, was effected early in 
1857. On the 25th of ]\Iarch the intelligence reached the fort, 
through a general or<!c-,r published in the New York Herald, that 
the Tenth Regiment v.-as ordered to Leavenworth, and the Post 
was to be abandoned. On the 20th of the following month it 
was learned that Fort Snelling also was to be vacated and sold. 
In June, Lieutenant Kelly received orders to go to Leavenworth; 
and in July the military stores at Fort Ripley were offered for 
sale. _ , 


Following close upon this, troubles began to gather at Leech 
lake, where, a year before, Mr. Breck had established a second 
mission. The particulars of this disturbance may be found in a 
series of articles, on the work of the Rev. J. Lloyd Breck, in the 


Minnesota Missionary for February, 1896. The account there 
given is taken from a paper prepared by Miss Emily J. West, 
who was a member of the mission at Leech lake, being an eye 
witness of what she relates. 

The trouble be^an early in July, 1857. The chaplain was 
absent at the time, but, on receiving a note that the members of 
the Leech Lake 3^Iission were at the Fort, he hastened home and 
found that they had left Kesahgah in the night of Thursday, the 
9th, on account of the bad and violent behavior of some Indians 
who were destroying their property and who even threatened per- 
sonal violence. 

In the Diary we find the following entry almost immediately 
after the withdrawal of the garrison: "We may now expect per- 
sonal violence, and murders, and the destruction of property on 
the ceded lands, and all along the frontier. The withdrawal of 
the troops from this section can result in nothing else." Just 
four years before, to a day, the Indians had killed an ox belonging 
to the mission at Gull lake. But the prompt arrest of +he of- 
fenders, who had been put in irons and set to work, had prevented 
any further outrages until after the withdrawal of the troops. 

A few days later, an inoffensive German, while traveling 
along the road near Gull lake, was murdered under circumstances 
of the greatest cruelty . The murderers were brought to the fort, 
but, as they could not be kept there, a team was procured at Mr. 
Olmstead's, across the river, and they were forwarded to Belle 
Prairie, to be delivered to the justice who was to commie them 
to the sheriff at Little Falls. 

The news of the murder spread ; and, armed with pistols and 
provided with ropes, a party left Swan River, determined upon 
securing the prisoners and executing them. They succeeded in 
overtaking the officer and his posse, and, threatening the sheriff 
even to putting a rope round the neck of one of his men, seized 
the three Indians and executed and buried them handcuffed to 
each other. 

The Indians were now becoming intensely excited and 
threatened revenge. Mr. Peake and his family left the mission 
at Gull lake in the care of the Christian Indians and took refuge 
in the fort. Indians were seen skulking about, ready to murder 
the first white man who should happen to come in their way. 




It was unsafe even at the fort to step outside the door in the eve- 
ning. The click of a gun was a warning to keep under cover. 

At the same time considerable excitement was produced in 
Crow Wing by the revelation of Crow Feather of the plans of 
HoIe-in-the-Day . The night previous he had communicated to 
Crow Feather and five or six braves his wishes that Crow Feath- 
er and one other should proceed to Crow Wing and kill the first 
white man they met. — the other four to proceed to Gull lake and 
burn all the mission buildings and property. 

Through the infliience of Clement Beaulieu, who had gotten 
this information from Crow Feather, the latter was induced to 
return to the Agency and try to prevent ihe burning of the mis- 
sion property. It is but justice to Crow Feather to note that, 
in answer to the wishes of Hole-in-the-Day, he said he had trav- 
eled among the whites a good deal and had received naught but 
kindness, and that he could not kill a white man. 

*Tn view of the threatened danger to life and property," the 
Chaplain writes, 'T vvTote a note to Hole-in-the-Day to the effect 
that we were aware of his intentions, and knew that he wls in- 
citing a number of Indians to deeds of violence and murder; also 
that, if he carried out his intentions, we should take every means 
in our power to bring him to a speedy and summary punishment." 

On Monday of tlie following week, August 24, 1857, White 
Fisher and Enmegahbowh came to the fort, the former right from 
Gull lake, stating that he with a number of Indians at Gull lake 
had held a kind of council on Saturday night, wherein tliey had 
agreed to stand by the Mission and send a message to Hole-in- 
the-Day, that they would not listen to his wicked proposals. 
Hole-in-the-Day had also given Indians money to kill Enmegah- 
bowh . 

On the 27th, Captain Barry, with a small escort from Fort 
Snelling arrived to examine into the true state of the late difti- 
culties . It seems that, on the receipt of the letter from the chap- 
Iain, Col. Burke sent a messenger up the Minnesota river to Fort 
Ridgely; whereupon Col, Abercrombie ordered Capt. Barry to 
take an escort and proceed to the northern frontier and learn 
the exact state of affairs. ^Accordingly, Enmegahbowh and White 
fisher were sent for to give Capt. Barry information concerning 
the troubles and the general disposition of the Indians. 


WitH the failure cf the plot of Hole-in-the-Day and the pres- 
ence of our soldiers at the fort, quiet was restored and continued 
during the following winter. The Rev. E. Steele Peake and his 
family remained at tlie garrison, as it was not thought safe for 
him to return to Gull lake immediately. Quarters were assisrned 
him by ^lajor Patten, the officer in command, and such of the In- 
dian children as had been members of his family were also re- 


The chief event concerning Fort Ripley in the latter part of 
this year 1857 was the attempted sale of the Reserve, together 
with the fort, by the War Department, which took place on the 
20th of October. The Reserve and adjoining lands, to the amount 
in all of about 60.000 acres, in various lots, received as bids about 
$1,800, or an average of three cents an acre. It was less than 
two months after the gieat financial panic of August, 1857, which 
disastrously affected all business interests throughout the United 
States. These very low offers, being under the price of $1.25 
per acre required for valid sales of government lands, were not 


Meanwhile, in another field, an event of moment had oc- 
curred. Bishop Kemiper, whose name will long be remembered 
m our early history, had called a meeting of the clerg\' and parish- 
es in Christ Church, St. Paul, to organize a diocese. In this 
council, convening September i6th, 1857, Chaplain ^lanney was 
a leading member. The canons there adopted were largely 
framed by his hand. Fort Ripley should be remembered as the 
place where these were thought out, under which for nearly forty 
years the Episcopal Church did its work in Minnesota. 


On Tuesday, September 24th, of the week following the 
convention, Breck, Manney, and Peake, went to Faribault ; and 
on Wednesday they made a reconnaissance of the town and vicin- 
ity with a view to select a site for schools. When Mr. Breck 
came to St. Paul in 1850, it was for the purpose of educational 
work in general, and tlieological in particular. His original de- 
sign was never given up when he went into the Indian country. 
Accordingly, on the breaking up of the mission at Leech lake, he 



decided to resume the educational work. The Mission of St. 
Columba, at Gull lake, was never abandoned, but had a continu- 
ous existence under the Rev. E. Steele Peake, who had gone 
there in 1856, on the removal of ]\Ir. Breck to Leech lake; and, 
though for a tmie obscured, it was the germ of the present fruits 
of Bishop Whipple's work among the Ojibways under the Rev. 
J. A. Gilfillan. 

September 25th, 1857, the Associate -\Iission was formed at 
Faribault by these three clergy, to embrace the white and the red 
field for religious and educational work. The Rev. Mr. Peake 
was to labor among the red men, and Alessrs. Breck and Manney 
were to reside at Faribault. 


The events of the spring of 1858 confirmed the good judg- 
ment of the Chaplain as to the necessity of a standing body or 
soldiers at Fort Ripley. On the i8th of March a detachment 
had to be sent to Crow Wing to aid the civil authority in making 
arrests and keeping the peace. Some unprincipled men, inflamed 
by liquor, made an attempt to burn the store of Mr. Beaulieu, 
threatening to shoot any who should attempt to put the fire out. 
Those in charge fired on the incendiaries, killing one and wound- 
ing another. The next day another alarm came, that some 
scoundrels had gone to Crow Wing with the intention of burn- 
ing the town that night, and that life was in danger . Soon after 
Divine Service on Sunday, March 21st, a messenger arrived from 
Major Herriman, the Indian agent, with a requisition for troops 
to protect himself and .1 body of Indians from a set of vagabonds 
at Crow Wing. 

One of the incendiaries, well known in that region as Whisk- 
ey Jack, and an accomplice, having been brought to the fort, the 
justice and others interested came down from Crow Wing to 
hold a court for the examination of the prisoners, in order to their 
commitment. Beaulieu, the complainant, requested the chaplain 
to act as his counsel. 

This notable court was held ^larch 23rd, at the house of Mr. 
S. Baldwin Olmstead, who lived across the river. It was com- 
posed of Justice McGillis, the prisoner Whiskey Jack, with hii 
hands tied together, m charge of a corporal's guard, Chaplain 


Manney as prosecuting attorney, and Lieut. Spencer, counsel 
for the defendant. As the justice could not write well, he was 
assisted by Surgeon Hassan of the Post. The witnesses were 
Shoff, Scofield, and Giggy. The complainant, on whose oath the 
arrest had been made, was Clement Beaulieu. Whiskey Jack 
was found guilty enough to be committed. So, in default of 
bail, he was given over into the keeping of the constable (but, 
there being none, the justice had to make one for the occasion), 
to be committed to jail, and, as there was no jail in those parts. 
Whiskey Jack was brought back to the garrison in charge of the 
guard and was confined in the guard house. Such was the ad- 
ministration of justice, according to the law of good sense, if not 
quite in accordance vvlth established order. 

Close upon the heels of this followed an event of a more 
serious nature. An O jib way captive woman, who had escaped 
from the Sioux, arrived at the fort under a military escort from 
Fort Snelling, having previously been sent from Fort Ridgely by 
Colonel Abercrombie. A little later, three O jib ways were sur- 
prised by a party of Sioux while on Long Prairie river, and one 
scalp was taken. During the night of the 23d of ^larch, 1858, 
about midnight, Sheriff Pugh brought a dispatch from Little 
Falls, that 200 Sious: VvCre in the vicinity. ^lajor Patten sent an 
order to Crow Wing for Lieut. Spencer to return immediately 
with his detachment, and issued a thousand ball cartridges to the 
citizens of Little Falls, at the same time sending out scouts. The 
lumbermen, hearing the alarm, came into Crow Wing, and the 
Indians left the sugar camps and came in for fear of the Sioux. 

The report went out that a number of Sioux had crossed the 
river at Watab on a gorge of ice, in pursuit, undoubtedly, of tJie 
Chippeway captive. They were one day behind her. She had 
rjcached the mission of the Rev. Mr. Williamson after a long 
journey, who immediately carried her to Fort Ridgely, whence 
she was forwarded :o Fort Ripley in safety. It was a bold at- 
tempt on the part of the Sioux to re-capture the escaped Ojibwav 
woman. It was fortunate they did not intercept her, as she was 
under the escort of United States troops, and such an event would 
have resulted in an Indian war. 

Even as late as tlie 3d of May, while planting in his garden, 
the chaplain was called in by an alarm from the bugle. The 



cause was the proximity .of a large body of Sioux. Guns were 
taken to the block-house, water was drawn, and men were quar- 
tered there ready for an emergency. Xews also came that seven 
Ojibwav scalps had been taken at Swan River the night before, 
and that the Sioux were robbing and committing more depreda- 
tions in the neighborhood of the Platte river. Thus it seemed 
as if the Post was pretty Vv'ell surrounded by hostile Indians. 


Hardly had the fears of the people subsided, when an order 
was received early in July to abandon Fort Ripley, and to estab- 
lish a post near Graham's Point on the Red river. The same 
mail, hov;ever, brought a telegram order for ^lajor Patten's com- 
pany to proceed to the Red river as noted, and for the artillery 
company to remain at Fort Ripley. This was delayed by the de- 
parture of Major Patten below, who seems to have gone for fur- 
ther instructions, returning, however, no wiser than before. On 
his return jMajor Patten stated that he had peremptory orders to 
send company L to the Red river in place of company K, but that 
he sl:ould order his own company. 

Lieut . Conrad was sent to examine the condition of the road 
as far as the crossing of the Crow ing, who reported that the 
road was not impas?al le. A military road had been laid out by 
George H. Belden, civil engineer, extending from Ripley to the 
site of this new post, which was called Fort Abercrombie. ^^vla- 
jor Patten started on .-Vugust 8th, and arrived at his destination 
on the 27th. The work of construction was pushed rapidly for- 
ward, so that by the middle of November the men were in com- 
fortable quarters . 


The summer of 1858 was one to be remembered in other 
ways. The winter had been unusually mild with its rains and 
pleasant days. March was drawing to a close with its showers, 
v.'hcn suddenly the season seemed reversed, and instead of April 
showers January snows succeeded, with little promise of May 
ilowers. As late as ti:e 15th of May ice formed, a quarter of an 
inch thick; and on tlie nth of June another frost singed potatoes, 
and killed tomatoes where it had a chance. Squash and pumpkin 



vines were injured on the night of the 12th of July; and on the 
28th of Auj^ust th.ose which previous frosts had spared were en- 
tirely killed. It was one of those phenomenal seasons which 
come rarely in our north.ern clime to blight the hopes of the hus- 
bandman. However, the Chaplain kept feast on the Fourth of 
July, with green peas for dinner, sending portions also to his 
friends in the garrison . 

.The winter of 1858-9 and its varied changes passed, with 
enough of incident to break the monotony of garrison life on the 
frontier. The cheerful hearth dispelled the unusual cold ; a mar- 
riage or two were included among social events ; and there were 
the coming and going of officers and visitors, and the weeklv ser- 
vice and sermon. 

Near the close of January, 1859, the Chaplain received a let- 
ter from ^Ir. Breck, expressing a desire that he should join him 
in the educational woi'k already established at Faribault. Such 
had been the understanding in 1857 when the Associate Mission 
was formed. After due consideration, Afr. ^Manney decided to 
go as early in the spring as possible. He did not deem it best 
to resign his chaplanicy at this time, but obtained leave of ab- 
sence for four months. Leaving the fort about the middle of 
May, he reached Faribault on the 23d. His resignation dates 
from about the ist of November, 1859, having held the ofHce for 
a period of eight years. 


The work of Dr. ?^Ianney at Faribault was to instruct the 
candidates for the ministry, and to hold religious services on Sun- 
<lay at some one of several stations within a radius of twenty-five 
miles. He heard recitations in systematic divinity, ecclesiastical 
history, the Greek Testament, and such other subjects as were 
required for entrance to the ministry. His varied learning and 
r.ptness to teach adm.irably fitted him for his work in a young 
institution. The several departments of the Faribault schools at 
that early day were uicludcd under the title of the Bishop Sea- 
bury University. Tlicse were primary, grammar, high school, 
and theological, for wnich there was a single building of wood, 
of simple pretensions. 

Dr. Manney received his classes in his study. This con- 
tauied well filled book-cases of carefully selected works by the 



old English divines, ^vhich must have presented a singular con- 
trast to the wild scenes of frontier life. His manner in the class- 
room was easy and f-imiliar, yet his pupils felt they were sitting 
at the feet of a master. 

He often preached in the Chapel at Faribault, where he was 
listened to with marked attention. For five years he was the 
only instructor in theolog}'. Besides his scholastic duties, he 
was of very great assistance in the organization of the Bishop Sea- 
bury Mission, and the articles of incorporation were drawn by 
his hand. It is to the rare combination of men like Bishop 
Whipple, J. Lloyd Breck, and Solon W. ^lanney, that the 
schools at Faribault largely owe their success. 

In 1862, Dr. ^^lanney was elected a delegate to the General 
Convention of the Episcopal Church, when his influence was felt 
as a member of rhe Committee on Legislation. He also sat as 
a member in the C<"uncil of 1865, and again in 1868. While 
in attendance at the latter convention, alarming symptoms of 
disease unexpectedly appeared, which rapidly assumed a more 
aggravated character. A painful operation after his return 
failed to arrest the progress of the disease, and, after a short 
and painful illness, in the full vigor of his mind he passed away 
January 19th, 1869, at the age of fifty-five vears. 


As reference has been made to Enmegahbowh in the course 
of this paper, we add an acount of his ordination which took 
place at Faribault on Sunday, July 3d, 1859, with which the Di- 
ary of Dr. Manney almost immediately closes. The event is 
also interesting as the last official act of Bishop Kemper in Min- 
nesota. [Enmegahbowh labored as a most devoted and useful 
missionary among the Ojibways in the northern part of this 
state until his death at- White Earth, Mmn., June 12, 1902.] 

Faribault was in the country of the Sioux, some of whom 
had their lodsres near the residence of ^Nlr. Alexander Faribault. 
The memory of the late feuds was still fresh in mind, and to 
penetrate so far into the country where an enemy might be met 
at any time was an event which at least suggested apprehensions 
of danger. The congregation had already assembled in the 
Chapel, — the Bishop cind clergy in the chancel, and Enmegah- 
bowh, habited , in his surplice, with Alanitowab and William Su- 



perior on either side, all three Ojibways, when above a dozen 
Sioux came in to witi.fss the novel spectacle and to get a sight 
of the Ojibways who had ventured to penetrate so far into the 
country of their hereditary foes. 

In the afternoon a conference was held in which the Ojib- 
ways addressed the Sioux through an interpreter. Mr. Alex- 
ander Faribault was present and assiste<l as interpreter for the 
Sioux. j\mong other things, ^lanitowab declared that since he 
had become a Christian the spirit of hatred had given place to 
that of love to all men, so that he looked upon the Sioux as 
brothers and not as enemies. 

In the evening ti^e Ojibwa}s and Sioux again met at the 
house of Air. Breck, when the Sioux made answer, through 
their chief, to the addresses of ]\Ianitowab and William. Thus 
ended an interesting day in the history of the relations of these 
tribes. The children of both Ojibways and Sioux were re- 
ceived into the missicr. school at Faribault, lived under the same 
roof,' and played together on tlie mission grounds, adjacent to 
those of Air. Faribault, where the Sioux and their lodges might 
always be seen. 


MiNNKsoTA Historical Sociktv. 

A'l.r V I»r .,..1- \-I I 





In her book entitled "Memories of Fort Snelling," Mrs. 
Charlotte O. \'an Cleve writes: "Another of my earliest recol- 
lections is the Siuiday School, established by ]\irs. Colonel Snell- 
ing and my mother . . . They gathered the children together 
on Sabbath afternoons in the basement room of the commanding 
officer's quarters, and held a service, with the aid of the Episco- 
pal prayer book, both of them being devout members of that 
branch of the church." And she adds, "There are good grounds 
for believing this tlie first Sunday School organized in this 
Northwestern region, perhaps the first northwest of Detroit." 

As Mrs. Van Clcve speaks of moving into the fort in 1821, 
and of leaving the "beloved" fort in 1827, the opening of this 
Sunday School was probably about the time of the earlier date. 
Thus we are indebted to Mrs. Josiah Snelling and Mrs. Nathan 
Clark for the earliest attempt to establish the institutions of the 
Christian religion in what was then a remote wilderness. We 
have no further account of the fortunes of this Sunday School 
Xo doubt it was kept up while these devout women remained, 
though varying with the personnel of the garrison. 


In the year 1838, the Rev. Ezekiel Gilbert Gear, missionary 
pastor of the Episcopal church at Galena, 111., received the ap- 
pointment of chaplain at Fort Sneliing. At the earnest solicira- 

•Read at the mouthly meeting of the Executive Council, May 12, 1902. 


tion of General Bro.;ke and the officers of the post, he decided 
to accept this position. He was then serving as missionary of 
the Domestic Board cf Missions of the Episcopal Church. In 
his letter of resignation to the Board he said, "A considerable 
settlement has already been commenced in the neighborhood of 
the fort; and it is the understanding that I am at liberty to ex- 
tend my labors among them." 

This letter having been read at a meeting of the Committee 
in New York, his resignation was accepted ; and the Precinct of 
St. Peter's, Iowa. — for so the region round about Fort Snelling 
was designated, — was adopted as a station, with the following 
resolution : 

Resolved, That the Rev. E. G. Gear be appointed mission- 
ary in the Precinct of St. Peter, Iowa, and that the Committee 
accede to his kind proposal to act without a salary. 

It will be seen from the tone of his letter, that I\Ir. Gear 
did not accept this position as a sinecure, but for positive good. 
Born and reared in Connecticut, and serving in the ministry un- 
der Bishop Hobart m western New York, where he had become 
familiar with missionary work among the Six Nations, genial as 
a companion in social life, and commanding respect for his 
strength of character and excellence of purpose, **an old Ro- 
man," as Bishop Whipple once called him, few men could have 
been found to fill the position more usefully and acceptably than 
the Rev. E. G. Gear. 

At a meeting of 'he Domestic Committee held in September, 
183S, it was stated that there was not a single clergs^man of the 
Episcopal Church in tlie Territory of Iowa, which then included 
Minnesota west of the Missisippi, and that only a few occas- 
ional services had been held in this extensive region. The pop- 
ulation of the country afterward set off as the Territory of Min- 
nesota might have been five hundred, perhaps not half that num- 
ber. These were the officers and soldiers at Fort Snelling, In- 
dian agents and their families, and the agents and employees of 
the American Fur Company. 

It was already )ate in the season when ^Ir. Gear set out 
for his remote home, traveling first to Fort Crawford, at Prairie 
du Chien. From this point the journey was to be made by sledges 



on the ice of the Misbi'ssippi river. Here he met with a severe 
injury, which kept him at Fort Crawford all winter. It was 
not until spring that h^ reached Fort Snelling, where he reported 
for duty in April, 1839. 

In a letter bearitig date of July 27th, he wrote: 'The whole 
number of souls inside the walls, including officers and families, 
is about 200, and as many more are expected in the fall. The 
American Fur Company's establishment and two or three othei 
families, and a few French and half-breeds, embrace all the 
civilized population of the neighborhood." The prospect of 
usefulness was not greater than he had reason to expect. "The 
officers and their families, many of the soldiers, and a consid- 
erable proportion of those outside the fort, attended Divine Ser- 
vice regularly; and the responses, at first feeble and indistinct, 
are made with much solemnity and propriety. I have not yet 
administered the Communion ; — there are no communicants out- 
side my own family." 

The first thing v/hich naturally attracted his attention was 
the conditon of the Indians around him. He spoke of them as 
miserable and degraded. There were three or four missionary 
establishments a short distance away, under the direction of the 
Methodists, Presbyterians, and Swiss Protestants. Little, how- 
ever, had thus far been eftected among these people. "Recent- 
ly," he wrote in one of his letters, "a great battle has been fought 
between the Sioux who live near the fort and the Chippeways 
who live farther north, in which about two hundred have been 
killed. The Sioux have just returned with the scalps of their 
enemies and commenced the horrid drama peculiar on this occas- 

During the summer of 1839 Mr. Gear continued to officiate 
twice on Sundays, until cold weather. Attendance was volun- 
tary, on account of the size of the room. There was no chapel. 
Many of the soldiers, with some from outside the garrison, were 
regular attendants and joined in the responses. Christmas Day 
he celebrated the Holy Communion for the first time, — the first 
celebration, in all probability, of the Lord's Supper by a clergy- 
man of the Episcopal Church in the territory now included in 
Minnesota. Five persons, one a soldier, received the sacrament. 



Three children had been baptized, and two marriages solemn- 
ized. He had also gathered into a Sunday School the dozen or 
so of children within the garrison. 

The condition of the Indians continued to excite his deep- 
est sympathy. ''If a man of tlie proper cast could be found," 
he wTote to the Gospel Messenger, ''to live among them, — a man 
capable of enduring hardships and privations like a good soldier, 
and apt to learn their language, and meet to teach them by ex- 
ample as well as by precept, much might be done." 

During the latter part of the summer of 1840, the removal of 
the Winnebagoes required the absence of three-fourths of the 
garrison, so that the number attending the services was smaller 
than usual. In his report he said, "At the last Communion four- 
teen partook, a majority being Methodists, Presbyterians, and 
Swiss Protestants, connected with the missions for the Sioux 
and Chippeways. Among these Avas the Rev. John Johnson 
Enmegahbowh, an O jib way from Canada, who afterward be- 
came a member of the mission of the Rev. James Lloyd Breck 
to the Ojibways at Gull lake, and was a clerg}'man of the Epis- 
copal Church. 

A small settlement had been made at the Falls of the St. 
Croix, a hundred miles distant. A\'ith the exception of a few 
scattered families, this was the only settlement of whites above 
Prairie du Chien, outside of Fort Snelling. He could not, how- 
ever, visit so remote a point. 

In 1843 ^""'^ ^"^^^^ ^^^^ again pleading for the Indians with his 
wonted earnestness. The Sioux and Ojibways, having prose- 
cuted war for the last four or five years with savage ferocity, 
had, through the intervention of the officers of the government, 
made a treaty of peace. The proposition came from the Ojib- 
ways, and their principal chief, Hole-in-the-Day, declared his 
wish to live like white men. He called upon Father Gear, and 
in a long conversation stated his wishes, and asked that a clerg}'- 
man of this Church might be sent among them. This Mr. 
Gear promised to make known to the Church and to communi- 
cate to him the result. 

Referring again to Enmegahbowh, Father Gear adds : ^'A 
native Chippeway, well qualified to act as interpreter, catechist, 
schoolmaster, translator, and teacher of the language, is on the 
ground willing and anxious to co-operate with us. He is an ed- 



iicated man and a Christian. He is decidedly of the opinion 
that our services are better calculated to impress and interest the 
Indians than any other. I gave him a Prayer Book when I first 
became acquainted with him,' and he informs me that he has 
translated some portions of it into the language and could read- 
ily prepare it for the press." 

The year 1843 marks the first visit of Bishop Kemper to the 
territory now known as IMinnesota. Of this visit the Bishop 
says: "Having unexpectedly received an invitation to go to St. 
Peter's, as the neighborhood at the mouth of the St. Peter's or 
Minnesota river was then designated, I determined, if possible, 
to embrace the very favorable opportunity that was offered me 
through the kindness of Captain Throckmorton of the steamer 
General Brookes, to visit the chaplain of Fort Snelling, the Rev. 
E. G. Gear, who is connected vrith my jurisdiction. Having 
made all necessary arrangements while the boat was at Galena, 
I ascended the upper ^Mississippi, spent some delightful hours 
with the chaplain, found him comfortably situated and usefully 
employed, and obtained some useful information concerning the 
northern tribes of the aborigines, which may be of use to the 
Church at a future day." This visit is noted in the Diary of the 
Bishop as taking place August 26th, 1843. 

Amid such surroundings Father Gear neld the first services 
of the Church. From his own record it appears that he held a 
service in St. Paul and preached. December 24th, 1845. I" 
a letter written June 30th, 1850, the Rev. J. Lloyd Brcck speaks 
of the service of the chaplain of Fort Snelling at St. Paul five 
years before. ^Tr. Breck says: "This was the first English 
Service in St. Paul. . . . From that time there were more or 
less of the services of the Church, although at times they were 
interrupted for six months together . . . But it must be borne 
in mind that only within the last vear or two have settlers come 

The number of settlers up to 1850 was estimated at from 
fifteen to eighteen hundred. This service held by Fnther Gear 
«'^t St. Paul was in addition to his morning and evening services 
at the fort, with his school duties during the week. 

It is also prol)able that the service which he held at the Falls 
of St. Anthony on February 5th, 1848, was the first religious 
service in that place. The village of St. Anthony was not even 



platted. We do not find record of any service prior to that of 
Dr. Gear. There could have been but few famiHes there. The 
first school was opened more than a year later ; there was no 
post office and no mail ; nor had any religious society been or- 
ganized . 


About the year 1840 the valley of the St. Croix began to 
attract the attention of immigrants interested in lumbering. In 
the autumn of 1843 Jc>hn McKusick from Maine, and Elam 
Greeley from New Hampshire, camie and selected the site of 
Stillwater as their home. The first frame building was erected 
in the spring of 1844. April ist of the following year, the Rev, 
E. A. Greenleaf was appointed missionary of the Domestic 
Board in the St. Croix valley, and held his first servic; in Still- 
water in June, 1846, in a house on ]Main street. In one of his 
letters, as follows, he described the religious condition of the 

I found the people wholly destitute of religious teaching ... No Pro- 
testant minister in all this region . . . The people had very little regard 
for anything of a religious nature . . . profanity, gambling and drinking 
. . , no school of any description in all the country; ... I have been 
obliged to officiate in private houses, and in such rooms as we could ob- 
tain. ... I have nothing beside my stipend, except a trifle from the 
people occasionally, . . . have received only seventeen dollars for the 
last six months. 

During the year 1846 Mr. Greenleaf baptized three children, 
and on Christmas day administered for the first time il'e Lord's 
Supper, to four communicants. In June, 1847, ^"'^ solemnized 
the marriage of John ^IcKusick and Phoebe Greeley, according 
to the rites of th.e Prayer Book. It was a union broken after a 
few months by the passing away of the young wife, over whose 
remains the burial office was said by the chaplain of Fort Snell- 
ing, who came in a heavy snowstorm in March, 1848, over the 
trackless prairie, to bring the consolations of the Church to the 
desolate home. 

At his first visit to the territory which is now r\Iinnesota, in 
1843, of a few hours only, Bishop Kemper had performed no 
episcopal duty. Alay 7th, 1848, he made his first visitation, on 
which occasion he confirmed four persons at Stillwater, Mrs. 
Hannah Greeley, mother of Elam Greeley, and her daughters, 



Service C, and Sarah C. Greeley, and Mrs. Elizabeth J. G. 
Harris, whose beautiful life was long- remembered in tliis home 
of her adoption. Of this visit in 1848 the Bishop wrote: 

Two or three days were passed "with the excellent and faithful pioneer 
missionary, the Rev. E. A. Greenleai, on the St. Croix. The place is new 
and small, but may be of considerable importance, as I learn it will be in- 
cluded in one of the new Northwestern Territories which are to be organ- 
ized by the present Congress. I am therefore exceedingly anxious that Mr. 
(irecnleaf should remain there, and be properly sustained, for he was the 
first, and, I believe, is yet the only resident minister in the place. I preached 
twice on Sunday, and confirmed four persons. There are some settlements 
in this upper country which I earnestly desired to visit ; but my time was 
limited in consequence of the approaching conventions of Indiana and Wis- 
consin ; besides. I had made various appointments in Iowa, and the boats 
were as yet few and very uncertain. I was therefore compelled to take the 
first opportunity to descend the Mississippi. 

In a report of ^Ir. Greenleaf made in 1847, we find him 
officiating alternately at Stillwater and Prairie Farm, about four 
miles distant, and one Sunday at the mouth of the lake St. 
Croix, where Prescott and Point Douglas are now located ; and 
at another time at Fort Snelling, at the funeral of a son of the 
chaplain. He reports one baptism, three burials, and three cele- 
brations of the Lord's Supper. The number of comm.unicants 
in his cure was now seven. 

In his last report of his work, for the quarter end'ng, prob- 
ably, July I St, 184S, he had read prayers and preached eight 
times at the Falls of the St. Croix, four times at St. Paul, twice 
at Cottage Grove, sixteen times at Prairie Farm; and about twen- 
ty times at Stillwater. He had baptized one child, and bur^>d 
lour persons. The missionary wrote hopefully of the future. 
The villages at the Falls of the St. Croix and of St. Anthony, 
as also St. Paul and Stillwater, were rapidly growing. No 
church had yet been built, and the services at Stillwater were 
held in a hall. The missionary had begun a house, partly to 
shelter his family, and partly to afford a room for a school and 
for the services of the church, being resolved to add teaching to 
his other work. The house referred to was destroyed by a hur- 
ricane almost as soon as completed. This with other circum^- 
stances compelled him to resign his work and to remove to an- 
<'tiier field of labor, after which no services of this church were 
bvld in Stillwater until the coming of the Associate ?»[ission in 





On the removal of Mr. Greenleaf, Father Gear at Fort 
SnelHng became the sole representative of his church in the 
Territory, or, rather, the 'Trecinct of St. Peter's." The earU' 
Episcopal services in St. Paul, begun by Father Gear, as before 
noted, in 1845, held in the house of Henry Jackson. This 

was open to all ministers ''in good and regular standing," who 
always found a welcome hospitality beneath his roof. These 
services were advertised from house to house, as was customary 
in rural districts and hamlets. The printing press had not yet 

The first public building to be erected was the little school- 
house, which is thus described : 

A little log hovel, covered with bark and chinked with mud, previously 
used as a blacksmith shop, ten by tweh'e feet. On three sides of the in- 
terior of this humble cabin, pegs were driven into the logs, upon which 
beards were laid for seats. A seat reserved for visitors was made by plac- 
ing one end of a plank between cracks in the logs, and the other end upon 
a chair. A cross-legged, rickety table in the center, and a hen's nest in 
the corner, completed the furniture. 

In 1848 St. Paul was just emerging from a collection of 
birch-roof cabins of early traders and voyageurs. Here and 
there might be seen a frame house of some pretensions. The 
population had increased from 250 to 300, in view of the pros- 
pect that it might be mentioned in the organic act of the territory 
as the capital. Such was the condition of things when the ser- 
vice of the Book of Common Prayer became a fixed fact in "the 
upper town" in St. Paul. The interest grew under the minis- 
trations of Father Gear, so that at Christmas, 1849, divine wor- 
ship was held in the new schoolhouse, decorated for the occas- 
ion. The services also became more frequent, and were held 
every alternate Sunday. Measures were being taken to organ- 
ize a parish and build a church. Father Gear continued to of- 
ficiate until the coming of ^Ir. Breck and his associates, Wil- 
coxson and Merrick. His last appointment was for Sunday, 
June 30th, 1850. 


The following account is taken from Hie diary of the Rev. 
Timothy Wilcoxson. 



On Whitsunday, ^lay 19th, 1850, I preached my farewell in Christ 
Church. Harwinton. Conn. ... On Saturday I went to New York, 
where I spent Trinity Sunday with the Rev. Messrs. J. L. Breck and J. A. 
Merrick. [The three met by appointment in the Church of the Holy Com- 
, munion, where, at their request, the Rev. Dr. Muhlenberg, the rector, or- 
ganized the "Associate Mission for Minnesota."' The members agreed 
to live and labor together for three years, without any additional social 
ties.] On Wednesday, May 29th, we started for the West; and we reached 
the residence of our beloved Bishop Kemper on Tuesday, the 4th of June. 
Mere we spent about two weeks. . . . The third Sunday after Trinity we 
spent at Nashotah [Wis.], where I took part in the farewell service of the 
Rev. James Lloyd Breck. late president of that institution. Tuesday, June 
18th, we left Nashotah, taking leave of our beloved Bishop and other 
friends who had become endeared to us by their courteous and Christian 
behavior. We left Milwaukee on Wednesday morning, reached Janesvill« 
in the evening, and arrived at Galena Friday noon. We spent the fourth 
Sunday after Trinity at Prairie La Crosse, where we had a private service 
and Holy Communion on a bluff which we called Altar Reck, and a public 
service at the Landing, at the house 'of a German named Levy. 

The next day being tlie festival of St. John Baptist, the 
members of the mission procured a bateau in which they paddled 
themselves across the river, and proceeding through the tangled 
vines and brushwood, at a point above La Crosse, held their 
first service on ^^linnesota soil beneath a spreading elm. The 
Rev. Mr. Merrick preached; and the wildness of the place re- 
minded the party of ''the voice of one crying in the wilderness." 
In the afternoon another service was held in the village, at which 
they baptized one child'*' and gave the Holy Communion to four 
Lutherans . 

On Tuesday a steamiboat was descried, breasting the strong 
current of the river, and the party embarked for their new home. 
Wednesday morning, June 26th, they came in sight of St. Paul, 
and as the Nominee (for so the boat was named) was to remain 
for a few hours, they landed and repaired to a spot three quar- 
ters of a mile distant, not far from the present capitol ; and be- 
neath one of the spreading oaks on the eminence overlooking the 
valley they celebrated divine service. For daily prayer was the 
rule of the Mission from its organization, as was also the practice, 
then rare in the American branch of the Church, of weekly Com- 
munion . 

After tarrying three or four hours, the Nominee proceeded 
to Fort Snelling, where they were cordially welcomed by the 

♦Martha Lucina .Amelia, daughter of Herman J. B. Miller and Louisa, his wife, born 
October 22, 1847. 



venerable chaplain. Here they remained for the rest of the 
week. At this time Mr. Breck does not appear to have selected 
a place for his work. "With regard to or.r Mission in Minne- 
sota," he wrote, "we can only say that it v/ill probably take iis 
six or nine months to explore the Territory sufficiently to fix 
upon a permanent location." 


The morning of Sunday, June 30th, was passed at the fort, 
the clergy joining with the chaplain in the services of the chapel. 
In the afternoon the Dean of the Mission and ?vlr. Wiicoxson 
accompanied Father Gear to St. Paul, where a respectable num- 
ber of people were assembled, a few of v/hom were members 
of the church, to welcome the coming of those who were to give 
them regular ministrations. Morning service at the fort, a drive 
to St. Paul in such conveyance as was afforded at jhat early 
day, another service at the fort in the evening, all this under in* 
firmity of body, shows the tireless activity with which Father 
Gear labored on to the end as chaplain, missionary, student, and 
writer. Mr. Breck wrote: 

Rev. Mr. Gear deserves unbounded praise for his self-sacrificing labors 
here. One fact is well worth recording-. The Church has been the first 
upon the ground, except the Romanists among the half-breeds. This has 
been the case also at the Falls of St. Anthony. The first English service 
in St. Paul was celebrated five years ago. And from that time to this there 
have been more or less of the Church services ; although, at times, they have 
been interrupted for six months together. 

In his History of St. Paul, Williams says that the first 
Protestant service was held by the Rev. Mr. Hurlburt in the 
autumn of 1844; the second by Mr. Greenleaf in 1846; and the 
third by Father Gear the same year. Whichever of the two 
statements we accept, the fact that the Rev. Mr. Gear was in 
the immediate neighborhood of St. Paul, which even in 1850 
gave a census of only 1.300 souls, entitles him to be regarded as 
the first pioneer Protestant clergyman permanently located in 
this region. And this is enhanced by the fact that his acceptance 
of the chaplaincy was conditioned also upon his being ccnsidered 
a missionary 01 the Board wherever opportunity opened for 
work which did not conflict with his duties at the Post. 

In his report to the General Convention of 1850, Bishop 
Kemper thus speaks of the services of ^Ir. Gear: "The Rev. 




E. G. Gear has resided for some years as chaplain to the gar- 
risen at Fort Snelh'ng, and has occasionally communicated to the 
Church information of great interest concerning the Red River 
settlements and the aborigines." 

Indeed, his early interest and efforts in behalf of the red 
men entitle Father Gear to be called the Father of Indian :Mis- 
sions of this church in ^^[innesota. So great, also, was his inter- 
est in the work of the Associate Mission in St. Paul that he is 
to be reckoned almost as one of their number. And a part of 
the groun"^ now held in trust by the Minnesota Church Founda- 
tion was given by him. 

As there were no Church people in St. Paul during the 
early ministrations of Mr. Gear, he usually brought the inter- 
preter along with him to make the responses. On one occas- 
ion, after the hymn from the Prayer Book Vv^as announced, a ne- 
gro who had occasionally attended service at the fort struck up 
his favorite melody, regardless of the rubric relating to the kind 
of music to be used in the Church. But no blame was ever laid 
to the charge of the chaplain from this accidental violation of 
church rubrics. 

The first service of the x\ssociate Mission in St. Paul was 
held in the schoolhouse on the bluff fronting the river. At the 
close, the venerable pioneer arose to give notice that the next 
appointment would be filled by others. Leaning upon the desk, 
he spoke of the heartfelt satisfaction it gave him that in the future 
the ser\'ices of the Church would be held more frequently by 
those who would go in and out among them from day to day. 
Deeply aft'ected, he took leave of the congregation, which from 
this time would have organic unity, in the words of the canticle 
« of the Even Song, ''Praise the Lord. O my soul.'' 

It is due to this first clergyman of this church on the soil 
of Minnesota to add a few words more. He was .a frequent 
contributor to the Gospel Messenger ; and a volume might be 
Hlled with his letters. He was a frequent visitor at tlie mission 
house in St . Paul . Friday was the day usually selected for this 
visit, as on Saturday the brethren were away on journeys to 
meet their Sunday appointments. At the request of ^Ir. Breck, 
be laid the corner stone of Christ Church, St. Paul. He 
preached the first sermon in the Church, of the Holy Trinity at 


St. Anthony, the first edifice for religious worship erected at 
that place. It is probable that his service at Shakopee on Aug- 
ust 3d, 1853, was the first church service held there. 

When IMr. Breck decided to enter the Indian field, the let- 
ters of Father Gear to the Gospel Messenger did very much to 
disseminate information in regard to the Indian missions of the 
Mother Church of England. He was in frequent communica- 
tion with the bishop and clergy of Rupert's Land, who were 
also his guests en route to and from England. He was the 
first to direct the attention of Enmegahbowh to the use of the 
Prayer Book, and was the means of bringing the Associate Mis- 
sion to Minnesota. 

He served the Church in many positions of honor. He was 
the president of the first standing committee appointed by Bishop 
Kemper at the first Convocation, held November 4th, 1854, and 
was chairman of the committee appointed to draft a constitution 
and canons in 1856. He was a delegate to the General Conven- 
tion in 1859, and was an active member of the council which 
elected our first bishop. 

After the abandonment of Fort Snelling in 1858. he con- 
tinued to officiate for the families remaining there and at Men- 
dota, until his appointment as chaplain at Fort Ripley in the 
spring of i860. In 1867 he was retired from the service, and 
soon after, removed to Minneapolis, where he continued to re- 
side until his death, which took place October 13th, 1873. At 
the time of his death he had passed the age of fourscore, was 
the senior presbyter of the Church in the United States, and had 
resided in Minnesota thirty- four years. 


Mr. Breck and his associates decided to make St. Paul the 
center of their educational and missionary work. Early in the 
week following their arrival, about the beginning of July, 1850, 
a parcel of ground was purchased ; and a tent was pitched there 
a week later for a temporary shelter. One of the number wrote: 
In the early part of the week we purchased two acres of land [which 
was' afterward increased to three] at fifty dollars per acre, three-fourths 
of a mile back of the village of St. Paul, on the bluffs in the rear of the 
town; and the next week we pitched a tent upon it, kindly loaned by the 
commandant of the fort, in which tent we lived two or three weeks. \Vc 




contracted with a carpenter to build at once a frame cottage twelve feet by 
seventeen, at a cost of one hundred and fifty-one dollars, furnishing every- 
thing himself. We now have a shanty enclosed, in which we live, studying, 
working, eating, and worshipping in tlie lower part and sleeping in the 

We have just cause for gratitude that a kind Providence has watched 
over us and conducted us in safety through so long a journey. And now 
every day brings some new comfort. Our friends here at the Fort and from 
the East are sending useful articles for our table and beds, and we ourselves 
are enabled to furnish many things with our own hands. 

Having made the arrang-ements of the first few days at their 
future home in St. Paul, the three clergy walked to Stillwater 
on Wednesday, July 3, 1850, to arrange for a service the fol- 
lowing Lord's Day. It was necessary to ford the numerous 
swollen streams barefoot ; but the journey of twenty miles was 
safely accom.plished. The Rev. Mr. ^Merrick, being- short in 
stature, remained at the settlement, while the other two returned 
to St. Paul. ^ lean while young Holcombe, a student from 
Nashotah, remained in charge of the tent. The dean and the 
professor spent Sunday, July 7th, in Stillwater, also giving a ser- 
vice in the afternoon at Hudson on the east side of the St. Croix. 
On their return to Stillwater in the evening, they lost their way 
and were obliged to spend the night under an umbrella. With 
their last match they lighted a fire to keep the wild beasts away 
and to dry their damp clothing, and took turns in tending their 
camp fire, holding tlie umbrella and watching against any ap- 
proaching danger. 

Services were thus begun in St. Paul, Stillwater, and St. 
Anthony (now East Minneapolis), the three places that con- 
tained fully half the entire white population of ]\Iinnesota. By 
July 26th they had performed divine service in all the important 
places in the Territory, and had visited several isolated neighbor- 
hoods and families. In a letter written by Father Gear we find 
the followinij extract: 

The Rev, Mr. Ereck and his associates have purchased three acres of 
land situated on a hill covered with a beautiful oak grove, about half a 
mile from the river, and commanding a view of the town and an extensive 
and inagniticent pro^^^pect in all directions. Here they have commenced a 
small house, the interior of which wiU be furnished with their own hands. 
In the meantime they have been living in a tent kindly lent them by Cap- 


tain Kirkham of this fort. They cook and eat their frugal meals, and 
wash their own clothes, under the shade of the trees. 

In a letter dated AugTist 13th, 1850, 'Mr. Breck wrote: 

We have (und^-r God) been permitted to establish stations for divine 
service at the following- places: St. Paul, Stillwater on the St. Croix, 
Cottage Grove, the Falls of St. Anthony. Point Douglas, Willow River 
settlement, Prairie La Crosse. We propose visiting the Falls of the Sr. 
Croix this week, distant from St. Paul fifty miles ; and in September we 
hope to go up the Mississippi one hundred miles to the Sauk rapids, ex- 
ploring the intermediate country. All our journeys are performed on foot. 
We are unable to keep a horse, nuich less to purchase one. 

The total distance traveled on foot during the year, as given 
in the diary of ^Ir. Wilcoxson, was about three thousand miles. 

At the earliest day possible, the subject of church building 
began to receive attention . A meeting of those interested was 
held at the house of H. A. Lambert, Augtist ist, to decide upon 
the expediency of building a church in St. Paul. The Rev. 
J. L. Breck presided, and Judge Lambert was chosen secretary. 
A statement was made that Lot 14 of Block 23 (on Cedar street, 
between Third and Fourth streets) would be donated for this 
purpose. The location was accepted and a committee was ap- 
pointed, consisting of Messrs. Charles F. Tracy and H. A. 
Lambert to ascertain how much could be raised and to report on 
the Monday evening following, at the same hour and place. At 
the latter meeting Yiv . Lambert reported, in behalf of the com- 
mittee, that six hundred dollars and upwards might be raised. 
It was then resolved to obtain estimates of the cost of a church 20 
by 40 feet in size, with a tower and chancel. - Messrs. H. A. 
Lambert, George C. Xicols, and J. E. Fullerton, were appoint- 
ed a building committee. 

At a meeting of the committee August 22d, plans were pre- 
sented with estimates ; and two days later the coinmittee decided 
to accept a plan of a church to cost $1,225 . The same month the 
congregation met and organized the parish of Christ Church by 
the election of H. A. Lambert and J. T. Halstead, w^ardens; 
and Messrs. E. H. Halstead. B. W. Lott, Charles F. Tracy, 
Henry Tracy, Charles R. Conway, R. R. Nelson, and J. E. 
Fullerton, vestrymen. J. E. I'ullerton was chosen treasurer, 
and B. W. Lott clerk. 

Thursday, September 5th, was appointed as the day for lay- 
ing the corner stone of the new church. All the clergy of the 



Church, in the Territory were present, consisting of the Rev. 
Messrs. Gear, Breck, Wilcoxson, and Merrick. The procession 
was formed at the hour appointed at the residence of Judge Lam- 
bert, on Cedar street, adjoining the site. The ii2th Psalm w^as 
recited while approaching the spot. At the request of the clergy 
of the Mission, the service was read by the Rev. E. G. Gear, 
who also laid the corner stone with the name of Christ Church. 
A box containing a copy of the Holy Scriptures and the Book 
of Common Prayer, with contemporary documents, was deposit- 
ed in the corner stone; and an address was delivered by the Rev. 
J. Austen ^lerrick. The building was to be in the early pointed 
style, with a spire fifty-two feet in height, surmounted with a 
cross. The dimensions were twenty by fifty-five feet, including 
chancel and tower. Additions were made at a later day, which 
did not improve its symmetry. This first edifice continued to 
be used by the parish of Christ Church until the rectorship of 
the Rev. S. Y. McMasters, D.D., when it was superseded by 
the present structure of stone. 

About the middle of August, a journey of exploration was 
undertaken to the settlements up the St. Croix, with a view to 
establishing another chain of mission stations. The points vis- 
ited included Areola Mills, Marine Mills, and the Falls cf the St. 
Croix. A part of the route lay through a dense forest, with no 
habitation for many miles. In the morning the travelers were 
drenched with water from the overhanging boughs. At 
noontide the sting of flies was an annoyance, and the eventide 
brought out an innumerable swarm of mosquitoes to add to their 
inconvenience. All this was repaid by the hearty welcome ex- 
tended by the pioneer wherever they went, whether in the log 
cabin or in the camp of the lumberman. And as a result of the 
interest awakened by this journey, we find the lumbermen's li- 
brary provided for the winter logging camp. 

The personnel of the three men constituting the St. Paul 
Mission is worthy our notice. 

James Lloyd Breck, the founder of this work, was of hon- 
ored ancestry. Plis uncle, the Hon. Samuel Breck of Philadel- 
phia, in a letter to a friend, said, "I have seen at my father's 
house assembled in a social way the three princes of Orkans, one 
of whom became King Louis Philippe, Talleyrand, anvl his in- 
separable companion, Beaumez, Volney, and other distinguished 


French noblemen." To such antecedents young Breck added 
the best of early advantages. His education was in the school of 
Dr. Muhlenberg. In such an atmosphere his natural gifts un- 
folded and strengthened, and eight years of residence in the wilds 
of Wisconsin could not eradicate the courtesy native to his char- 
acter. Nor were the men associated with him less marked in 
their character. ^lerrick, the scholar, too early called, gave to 
the Mission his richness of intellectual culture; while Wilcoxson, 
a type of the self-made American, persevering and patient, added 
an element of practical strength to this self-denying work. 

It had been the intention of ]\Ir. Breck to visit the region 
above St. Paul at an early day. It was not, however, until Wed- 
nesday, the 9th of October, 1850, that the dean, accompanied by 
Mr. W^ilcoxson, set out on a journey of eighty miles on foot to 
Sauk Rapids, then a small trading post. It was the Indian Sum- 
mer of our northern latitude, when there is a softness in the air 
and the forests have on their most brilliant hues. This visit is 
fully described by Mr. Breck in one of those charming letters 
which he so well knew how to write. They reached the settle- 
ment about noon on Saturday, and the following day, October 
13th, celebrated for the first time divine service in Sauk Rapids, 
the most northerly settlement in the Territory. Returning they 
reached home on Wednesday, having traveled a distance of a 
hundred and seventy miles, and after an absence of a vveek. It 
was their purpose to visit this place once in six weeks through 
the winter; and a second service was held November 17th, at 
the house of Jeremiah Russell. 

Arrangements were already being made for a church at St. 
Anthony Falls. Early in October a lot was secured, on Second 
street, between First and Second avenues north, the gift of 
J^Iessrs. Steele and Russell; and, although there were as yet no 
communicants, a fev/ were interested in the church. October 
30th the corner stone of this second church was laid by the Rev. 
Timothy Wilcoxson, and it was named the Church of the Holy 
Trinity. This parish, now in East :Minneapolis, is the mother 
church of that city, as Christ Church is of St. Paul. 

The method by which Air. Breck supported his ^vork was 
unique. There were no church building societies, or other agen- 
cies which in our day render the labors of a new field compara- 




tively eas}^ The Domestic ^lissionary Society, though in exist- 
ence, did not aid the work of the St. Paul ^Mission. During his 
residence in Wisconsin at Nashotah, Mr. Breck's romantic work at 
so early a day, which was a new venture for the Episcopal 
Church, had raised up many personal friends, who continued their 
interest when he came to Minnesota. The entire support of this 
work came through the daily mail, in amounts varying from the 
widow's mite upward. And yet it was not a day of princely 
gifts. Five hundred dollars was a munificent sum, and even 
this was rare. Occasionally a hundred dollars came for some 
special purpose. But most often it was but a few dollars, and 
not unfrequently at a time when the larder needed to be replen- 
ished. In the latter emergency Mr. Breck speaks in his letters 
of the thoughtfulness of the people in St. Paul. It was a prin- 
ciple with him never to make appeals from the pulpit, or to trav- 
erse the Church for funds to carry on his work. 

Early in December the church in St. Paul was ready for use, 
and it was formally opened on the second Sunday in Advent. 
This was the first house of worship of the Episcopal Church in 
Minnesota. Aside from the general fitness of the name, the fol- 
lowing incident will explain why the name of Christ Church was 
given to it. A generous layman of Christ Church in Philadel- 
phia, the old historic church of Bishop White, proposed that one 
thousand dollars be placed at the disposal of ]Mr, Breck, to be 
applied as he might think best to any object connected with his 
mission. In acknowledgment ^fr. Breck wrote, "We have 
named our new church Christ Church, and m.ay it become to the 
West what your own parish, so venerable, of the same name, has 
been to the East." The first baptism in the new church was 
that of an adult and three children on the Sunday before Christ- 

Five objects engaged the attention of the Associate Mis- 
sion : the education of young men for the ministry, the erection 
of churches, the endowment of the episcopate, the purchase of 
land for parish glebes, and the creation of a fund for permanent 
niission buildings. One-half of the contributions received was 
to be devoted to these objects, while the other half was to be 
used for present needs . As a matter of history, we give the fol- 
lowing extract from a letter written to the Trustees of the Min- 



nesota Church Foundation by }vlr. Breck, and now on file in their 
records, kindly given nie by ]\Ir. Harvey Officer, secretary of 
the Board. 

Faribault, Minn., 2nd August. 1864. 
To the Board of Trustees of the Minnesota Church Foundation, 

Gentlemen : — Will you permit me, as the original purchaser of all the 
real estate save one acre belonr/xig to the Minnesota Church Foundation 
in and about St. Paul, to lay bcfo-e you some facts which may better aid 
you in dispensing this trust. In 185/j I came into the Territory of ^Minnesota, 
and with clerical associates loc:{t.<fd at St. Paul. Of Mr. Guerin we made 
the first purchase of three acres on the bluff to the rear of St. Paul, and 
then built the first ^Mission House. This purchase v/as made with money 
given to me in New Kaven, Conn., by the Misses Edwards, and by J. K. 
Sass, Esq., of Charleston, S. C, for the purpose, in their minds and in 
our own, for a second Nashotah, or an establishment for the education of 
young men for the ministry. ' 

. . . The balance of the Mission grounds in St. Paul was r.s follows: 
one acre donated by Father Gear, and the two acres on the north purchased 
from out of the general funds of our Mission. 

When Dr. Van Ingen came into the Territory, it was well understood 
that the educational feature of the ^Mission property was to be maintained. 

When the Minnesota Church Foundation was organized, the same fea- 
ture obtained equal prominence along with benevolent works of charity 
and the support of the Episcopate. 

... I trust the intention of the original donors, as well as that of the 
first purchasers, will have weight in the final dispositon which shall be made 
of their lands. My own opinion is that benevolent works of charity were 
no part of the original design. 

Hence the first of the last named objects, viz., Theological Education 
in the Diocese of Minnesota and the support of the Episcopate, in equal 
parts, would be just; and thus divided, be blessed of God. 

At the beginning of 1851 it appears that the Associate Mis- 
sion had fifteen stations, in a territory extending from La Crosse, 
Wisconsin, to Sauk Rapids, and up the St. Croix. The terri- 
tor\' west of the :Mississippi had not yet been ceded by the In- 
dians. In the six months since their coming here, the_ clergy had 
traveled on foot over 3,000 miles, and by boat or carriage 1,600 
more, — a total of over 4,600 miles, through a new country, with- 
out bridges, over bad roads, and oftentimes with no roads at all. 

In the month of February Islr. Breck made a visit to Fort 
Ripley, or, as it was then known, P^ort Gaines. On the evening 
of the I2th he arrived at Elk River, which had a single iog build- 
ing, where he spent the night. It was not until the third or 
fourth day that the journey on foot of a hundred and twenty-five 



miles was accomplished. The nightfall of Saturday, the 15th, 
found the missionary at the most remote outpost on the upper 
.Mississippi, where the Rev. Mr. Manney had lately been ap- 
pointed chaplain, not far from the scene of his future labors 
among the red men. 

It will be of interest to enumerate the points where church 
work had been begun from St . Paul as a center, at the opening 
of Lent, 185T, as follows: St. Paul (the upper and lov/cr town), 
Stillwater, Greeley's Prairie, Point Douglas T Thomas Hethering- 
ton's), Cottage Grove, Point Elizabeth, Willow River, Marine, 
Areola, Osceola. St. Croix Falls, Red Rock, St. Anthony Falls, 
Little Canada, Carrington's, Itasca, Sauk Rapids, and Vv'atab, to 
which must be added La Crosse. Such was the field of the As- 
sociate Mission. To meet these appointments, the clergy trav- 
eled on foot and in all kinds of weather. ''The people were kind 
beyond their ability," Mr. Breck wrote. Once only had he 
failed of hospitality, and then, wrapping his Mackin?.w blanket 
around him, he lay down in the school house and enjoyed a night 
of undisturbed repose. On one occasion Mr. Wilcoxson missed 
the trail when on his way from Stillwater, and, as he supposes, 
passed around to the north of White Bear like, reaching the 
mission somewhat later than usual. 

On Thursday of Easter week, 1852, it was resolved at a 
meeting of the Vestrv to place the spiritual direction of Christ 
Church, St. Paul, under the Associate Mission until circumstan- 
ces should require a different arrangement. A letter was writ- 
ten to be forwarded to Bishop Kemper, putting the parish 
under the pastoral care of the Protestant Episcopal Church, and 
*aIso a letter to the clergy of the ^Mission, informing them of the 
fact, together with a statement of their acceptance of thj charge. 
June 2d, the Rev. J. Austen ^^lerrick. clerk of the Mi;^.sion, ac- 
knowledged the receipt of the notification of the organization of 
the parish of Christ Church, and communicated to the Vestry 
their acceptance of the missionary charge of the parish, until, by 
the advice and consent of the bishop, they should .call h pastor. 


The Church of the Holy Trinity, at St. Anthony, of which 
ihe corner stone was laid October 30th, 1850, as before noted, had 
>o far advanced towards completion as to be opened for divme 



worship for the first time in the evening of April 15, 1852 (the 
Thursday before Easter), upon which occasion the Rev. Mr. 
Gear of Fort Sneiling delivered an appropriate discourse. This 
church was only a section of ''what promised in time to be a large 
and beautiful building." And yir. Breck adds, "Th's was the 
first house of v/orship erected in this growing town." 

This parish was organized by the Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson on 
Easter Monday, April 12th, 1852. The first baptism in the 
church edifice was by the Rev. 2vlr. ]\rerrick, Sunday, December 
2ist, 1851, when Franklin McAlpin received this sacraTuent; and 
tlie first confirmation was held August 24th, 1851, when a class 
of four received this rite at the hands of Bishop Kemper, namely, 
Mrs. Louisa H. McAlpin, Thomas Y. Sentell, Mrs. Amelia 
Bassett, and ^Ir. Flerman Jenkins. 

In one of his letters Father Gear wrote: 

It is intended that this edifice when completed shall be twenty-four 
feet wide by sixty long, besides a chancel of the requisite proportions, and 
in the early pointed style. ... It occupies a beautiful and commajiding 
site, and is near the place where I saw, eleven years ago, a camp of a party 
of the Sioux who had left a day or two before on a war expedition into the 
country of the Chippewas. This camp was an object of considerable in- 
terest. ... It consisited of a large number of booths extending in a 
straight line of several hundred yards, perpendicular to the river, and op- 
posite to the passage between two beautiful islands above the falls. In 
most of these lodges were evidences of their rites and ceremonies prepar- 
atory to war; and at the head of the column was a dead dog, bedaubed 
with various colors, suspended from a tall pole by the neck, with his face 
looking to the north, and which had been sacrificed on the occasion to 
propitiate the Great Spirit. ... It was therefore with no ordinary emo- 
tions of pleasure that I assisted at the ceremony of laying the corner stone 
of the Church of the Holy Trinity in a place associated in my mind with 
this wild and savage scene. 


Among the members of the St. Paul Mission was an educat- 
ed Swede named Sorenson, who acted as cook, gardener, and 
man of all work. He was also useful as an interpreter of the 
mission to the Swedes, who were then found in considerable 
numbers in St. Paul. At their own request, the clergy gave 
them occasional services on Sundays and holy days, and per- 
formed such other ministrations as occasion required, solemniz- 
ing their marriages, baptizing their children, and burying their 
dead. Indeed, the Rev. Mr. Unonius, pastor of the Episcopal 




Swedish Church in Chicago, visited St. Paul by special invita- 
Von of Mr. Breck, to examine into the merits of the Territory, 
with a view to recommend it to his countn-men as a suitable 
lionic. Already ^Ir. Breck had been instrumental in forming 
llie nucleus of a settlement of Swedes near one of his stations. 

As several congregations of Scandinavians have placed them- 
selves under the supervision of the Episcopal Church with per- 
mission to use their own liturgy, it may be interesting to note here 
that the spiritual oversight of these excellent people was not over- 
looked by the Associate Mission. In fact, Mr. Breck and his 
associates forgot no one in their ministrations. 

In the diary of ^Ir. Wilcoxson we find, from time to time, 
iccords of Sunday services to the few Xorv/egians in St. Paul. 
On New Year's day, 1855, he wrote. "Officiated at Carver, and 
gave the Communion to thirteen Swedes and Norwegians." 


On x\scension Day, May 29th, 1851, the corner stone of As- 
ccnsic«i Church, Stillwater, was laid by the Rev. T. A. Mer- 
rick, — the Rev. Messrs. Breck, Wilcoxson, and Gear, who com- 
prised the other clergy of the Territory, being present and as- 
sisting. This was the third church erected by the St. Paul 
Mission. It was opened for divine service on Christmas morn- 
ing, 1851. The first baptism, before the erection of the church, 
was administered by l\Ir. Merrick, on August nth, 1S50, to a 
child, Augustus How Hartshorn, of William E. and Elvira 
Hartshorn . 


Wednesday, July i6th, 185 1, was a memorable day in the 
history of the St. Paul ^Mission, for the first official visitation of 
the venerable Bishop Kemper. The following Lord's Day he 
consecrated Christ Church, the first edifice erected by the Epis- 
copal Church in the Territory. The six communicants whom 
Mr. Breck found had now increased to eighteen. This visita- 
tion of the bishop was prolonged to the 27th of August, during 
which time he visited all the settlements in the Territory where 
services had been established. Confirmations were held at Wil- 
low River (now Pludson) and St. Croix, Wis. ; and at St. An- 
thony and St. Paul, Minn. At the last place, four persons were 
confirmed, namely, Mrs. Sophia Tracy, Mrs. Nancy Irvine, 



Mrs. Jane E. Conway, and ^hs. Frances Powers. A friend 
wrote as follows : ' 

At this time Bishop Kemper was something over fifty years of a^":. 
His frame was erect, his step -firm, and his countenance bore the imprc-, 
of benevolence and kindness of heart. In manner he was quiet. His voice 
in the pulpit was sweet and musical. His sermons were practical: nor .ha 
they lack the graces of composition. But their chief power lay in their 
earnestness, sincerity, and unaffected_ goodness. In the social circle he 
was dignified, yet affable, and he had the happy faculty of making all within 
his influence feel the sunshme of his presence. 

Such was a brief description of the man who for some fortv 
years passed the greater part of his time in the stage coach, and 
who was known only to be loved and venerated. 

In 1850 there was no diocesan organization. The year 
1851 is memorable for the first effort to bring together into or- 
ganic unity of effort the churchmen of the scattered missions. 
The St. Paul Mission had been an important step in creating 
a strong center for church work. The laity were nov* by con- 
certed action to complete this associated effort. Pursuant to a 
public notice, a meeting was called to be held in Christ Church, 
St. Paul, August 25th, for the purpose of organizing a Mis- 
sionary Society for Minnesota. The object of the society was 
church extension, and the erection and completion of churches 
in the Territory. The president was J. Lloyd Breck; c'.nd Plenry 
A. Lambert was elected clerk, and J. E. Fullerton treasurer. 
Other names of members of committees from Christ Church were 
C. F. Tracy, John Holland, and G. Parker. This missionary 
association served the purpose of a convention or council of tlie 
Church, though without legislative powers, and was the first 
effort to bring together the clergy and laity for mutual counsel. 

A summary of results as given by ~\Ir. Breck on October 
6th, 1851, is as follows: Fifteen mission stations served by the 
clerjjv of St. Paul ?^Iission ; three church edifices; seventv-five 
communicants in all: and fourteen Sunday Schools. A scho<^l 
for boys had been begun on the Mission premises, and lot had 
been secured adjoining the church, with the intention of buildni'.:: 
another schoolhouse for girls. 

"Our first service for the Norwegians in Minnesota," Mi*- 
Breck wrote, ''was had in Christ Church, St. Paul, on yesierdav, 
the day after Christmas [1851]. These sheep in the wildernc^- 


225 beginning to emigrate into these parts, and we cannot but be 
deeply interested in their welfare/' 


The primary object of Mr. Breck in coming to St. Paul 
liad been missionary work, and the training of young men for 
tlie ministry. To this, as we have seen, he added educational 
work for both sexes. In a conference between Bishop Kemper 
and the Associate ^vlission, at his visitation in 185 1, the bishop 
gave his consent for them to go on as they had begun. They 
were to hold services, build churches, establish schools, and train 
men for the ministry. After further deliberation, this permis- 
sion was restricted to the preparation of candidates for Holy 
Orders; but their theological education must be sought else- 
where . 

This new arrangement was a great disappointment to Mr. 
Breck, and led him to look for a field where he could carry out his 
plans. At this juncture the condition of the Indian field was 
laid before him by Father Gear. The time was opportune. The 
several Protestant churches had withdrawn from the Ojibway 
field, one by one, and Mr. Breck decided to undertake work 
among thenl. After visiting the Indian country and making 
due preparation, the mission to the Ojibways was inaugurated on 
Ascension Day, 1852. 


"Sir. Breck retained charge of Christ Church until July 26th. 
1852, when he was succeeded by the Rev. Timothy Wilcoxson. 
Tlie latter, however, in accepting the rectorship, did so with the 
express condition that he should devote one half his time to the 
outside field. 

The labors of ^[r. Wilcoxson extended up the valley of the 
St. Croix, up the Minnesota valley as far as Mankato. rnd down 
the Mississippi to Red Wing. For a time he was the only mis- 
^ionary in the white field, until the coming of the Rev. J. S. 
Chamberlain to St. Anthony in October, 1852, who added to this 
the region west and north of the Falls. Mr. Wilcoxson re> 
niained in charge of Christ Church until July 25th, 1854. 

Soon after\his he was succeeded by the Rev. Jolm \isger 
Van In-en D.D., who came from Rochester, N. Y., as head 




of the Minnesota ^Mission, and who for more than seven years 
was prominent in church matters in the Territorv- and new State. 
The property acquired by Mr. Breck in St. Paul was deeded to 
Dr. Van Ingen, and was held by him in trust for the Church 
until the organization of the Minnesota Church Foundation So- 
ciety. Although he took an active interest in the growth of the 
Church outside of St. Paul, organizing the parish of Si. Paul's 
Church at Winona, and visiting other points, yet his labors were 
mostly confined to Christ Church, which now became separate 
from the rest of the field. The Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson removed 
to Hastings, which became the center of an extensive itinerant 
work . 

In 1856 St. Paul's Church in the city of St. Paul, of which 
the Rev. Andrew Bell Paterson was the first and for m_any years 
the esteemed rector, was organized as an offshoot from Christ 
Church . 

The removal of 'Mr. Breck to the Indian country v^-as prac- 
tically the close of the St. Paul ^fission, so far as the special 
object was concerned which had brought him to the Territory, 
This, aside from the general missionary or church work in this 
unoccupied field, was theological education. It was his purpose 
to establish an instittition similar to Nashotah in Wisconsin. 
With this in view he had acquired the ground now held in trust 
by the IMinnesota Church Foundation. The missionary work 
and the educational revolved around this central idea. This idea 
was never abandoned by IM'r. Breck; and had it not been that 
the property was occupied in 1857, it is pretty certain that the 
svstem of schools in Faribault would have been located on these 
grounds in St. Paul. In this connection v/e quote from the 
diary of the Rev. ]^Ir. Wilcoxson, under date of July 27th, 1852. 

Within tlie la>t few days. I have been consulted with reference to taking' 
charge of the parish of Christ Church in this place. At first I gave I'-i' 
little encouragement that I would accept, if elected,— feeling bound to pur- 
sue the itinerancy during the three years for which I was pledged. I 
gave them to understand that I would in no case propose to give up tlio 
itinerancy, as that miglu seem like a shrinking from duty. I said, however, 
that if all parties concerned should concur, I might be induced to accept 
the rectorship. Such was the ca.,e. Brother Breck arrived from the Ind:an 
mision at Gull lake on the 22(1; a meeting of the Vestry was held last eve- 
ning, and I was elected rector. Under the circumstances I felt Ix^und to 
accept. The people having been disappointed again and again were he- 
coming disheartened. ... I do not wish a city parish, as this seems des- 



t:ned to be. Still, the departure of Brother Breck to Gull Like, the absence 
wt Brother Merrick on account of his health, and. the difficuhy of getting 
anyone else to take the parish, all unite to make the path of duty plahi. 
For the present I am to spend one half of my time at the other stations. 

The ceding of the country west of the ^Mississippi, which 
took place July 23d, 185 1, opened the valley of the Z^Jinnesota 
to settlement. Having the advantage of steamboat navigation, 
til is region was accessible to the pioneer much earlier than the 
parts away from the river. Shakopee and Traverse des Sioux 
were interesting as Indian villages, as trading posts, and as the 
scats of Presbyterian missions to the Indians. The first house 
was built in ^^lankato in 1852. In the spring of 1853 there was 
a single dwelling on Arrow prairie, wdiere Le Sueur now stands. 
In 1854, Captain Dodd built a house on the tow^nsite of St. Peter. 
Along the ^vlississippi in this state, below St. Paul, not a tow^n 
has a history prior to 1852, unless the Swiss mission at Red 
Wing or the Presbyterian mission there and at Kaposia claimi that 

The importance of Shakopee, then a rival of Stillwater, at- 
tracted early attention. The spiritual care of this growing young 
village, the home of old Shokpay, belonged in the first instance to 
the St. Paul mission. In June, 1853, the Rev. E.- A. Green- 
leaf returned to the Territory and took charge of the work here . 
May 17th, 1854, Bishop Kemper visited Shakopee, and laid the 
corner stone of St. Peter's Church, the second church of this 
communion erected on the west- of the ^Mississippi, the Indian 
church of St. Columba at Gull lake having been the first. The 
Rev. 'Mr. Greenleaf continued in charge until November 29th 
of this year, when he retired, the spiritual care of this church and 
of the entire Minnesota valley being assigned by the bishop to the 
Rev. Mr. Wilcoxson. The church at Shakopee was opened for 
divine service August 26th, 1855. 

During the summer of 1852 ]Mr. Breck made occasional , vis- 
its to St. Paul and officiated in Christ Church. Indeed, the 
work for the red men was regarded as one department of the St. 
Paul mission, which continued to retain the name of ''Associate 
Mission." But the growing needs of the Indian work absorbed 
the greater part of the contributions, and the separation practical- 
ly grew more and more complete. The arrival of the Rev. J. 
S. Chamberlain, son-in-law of Bishop Chase of Illinois, to take 


charge of St. Anthony and the region to the west and north, 
relieved the stress of this part of the field, so that Christ Churcli 
and the valley of the St. Croix alone were embraced in the cure 
of Mr. Wilcox son. 

In 1854, the Rev. Dr. J. V. Van Ingen came to Minnesota 
as the head or president of the St. Paul mission, including the 
rectorship of Christ Church. Accordingly, ^Ir.' Breck deeded 
to him the property in St. Paul which he himself had held in 
trust for church purposes, to which reference has alrr;ady been 
made. Dr. \'an Ingen arrived late in September, and entered 
at once upon his duties. Under dates of November 5th and 6th, 
1854, ^Ir. Wilcoxson wrote: "Sunday, officiated with the Bish- 
op [Kemper] and Rev. J. V. A^an Ingen. . . . M'ondsy, Nov. 
6th, was nominated by the Bishop as itinerant for ^Imnesota." 


3,Ir. Wilcoxson at once entered upon his duties with his 
usual zeal. After visiting Stillwater he set out on his first journey 
up the Minnesota. The close of a cold blustering day in Novem- 
ber found him at Stevens' mill, opposite St. Anthony. The next 
day he reached the log cabin of 'Mr. Judd, with its welcome hos- 
pitality, at Chanhassan. On the following Lord's Dav he offic- 
iated there and at Shakopee. The next day he walked to Le 
Sueur, stopping by the way at Judge Chatfield's, now Belle 
Plaine. At Le Sueur he found a single communicant, Mrs, 
Peck, who had arrived the year before. Traverse des Sioux 
was the next point reached, interesting as the place \\here the 
Dakotas signed the treaty of 185 1, by which they rehnquished 
their title to the lands west of the Mississippi. 

At St. Peter, Captain Dodd had lately brought from the 
East as his bride, a devoted church, who had been r\ 
member of the Church of the Holy Cummunion in New York 
City. Here he held service, at which fourteen v\-ere present, the 
second service of the Prater Book there. 

Returning, he preached to some forty or fifty at Traverse, a 
village of promise tlien, but now only of promising farm harvests. 
His first service at Le Sueur was held on the 23d of February, 

The first service of ^Iv . Wilcoxson at Carver was on Nc\v 
Year's day, 1855. About thirty were present at this service, 



which was held at the hotel. Thirteen Swedes and Norwegians 
received the Communion, ''they using the Lord's Prayer and 
Confession, the Psalms and Hymns in their own language, and 
receiving an explanation of the Communion office and some 
practical instruction through one of their own number w^ho un- 
dcrstrod our language." About this time he wrote: 

In all the places I have mentioned, communicants and persons attached 
to the Church are to be found.— in some, one or two communicants ; in 
others, ten cr twelve. 

Stillwater has a population of about The number of communi- 
cants connected with this parish is nine or ten. There is a church edifice 
completed and fully paid for. Shakopee, although of not more than two 
years' growth, has a population of 503. The frame of a church has been 
erected at this place. The building is inclosed and nearly enough is 
secured to finish it. There is the promising settlement of Chanhassan, 
numbering twelve. or fifteen cummunicants. At Hastings I have heard of 
four or five communicants. 

Early in 1855 visited Hastings, a place of some ten or 
twelve houses, and held his first service on Sunday morning, Jan- 
uary 7th. 

A second journey up the Minnesota was made eariy in 1855, 
during which he officiated eleven times in nine days, administer- 
ing the Lord's Supper once, and baptizing a child. During this 
part of his itinerancy he resided in St. Paul as the mv>st central 
point for his work. 

Early in ]May, 1855, he removed to Hastings, which was 
rapidly growing and was for many years the market for a large 
region of country extending as far as to Albert Lea and Blue 
Earth City, including Faribault and the intervening territory. 
The same month he was relieved of the care of Stillwater by the 
coming of the Rev. J. A. Russell. He continued his visits to the 
country of the lower ^linnesota valley during the summer ; but 
in November, 1855, the Rev. E. Steele Peake became itinerant 
missionary in this valley, and resident pastor of the church at 
Shakopee. 'Mr. Wilcoxson continued to reside at Hastings until 
tailing liealth compelled him to give up his work. 

During the first seven months of this itinerancy he had 
walked nearly two thousand miles, and may be called the pioneer 
missionary of this church to the white population. In company 
with Bishop Kemper, he held the first Prayer Book service at 



Mankato on ^lay i8th, 1855. The same year ^Ir. Wilcoxson 
held the first service of his church at Faribault, June 3d, at 
which he baptized the daughter of 'Sir. Crump. In 1857, in 
company with Bishop Kemper, he made a journey into the in- 
terior as far as to Bancroft, a townsite not far from Albert Lea, 
where now only herds graze or harvests wave. .There is some- 
thing romantic in a visit involving a journey of some two hun- 
dred miles, going and returning, in the interest of the Qiurch, 
quite as much as in the first known visit of a distinguibhed civil- 
ian in search of buffalo a little earlier in a neighboring county. 
Probably no missionary in our branch of the Church ever walked 
more miles, unless we except the Rev. J. Lloyd Breck. Mr. 
Wilcoxson also held the first service of the Episcopal Church 
at Red Wing. 

The coming of the Rev, Dr. Van Ingen to take charge of the 
parish of Christ Church, St. Paul, and also to be the head of the 
Minnesota ^lission, marks the close of the period which this 
paper is intended to cover. For the circumstances which led to 
his acceptance of this work we would refer to his "Memoir," 
For the first tim.e in its history, Christ Church had a pastor who 
could devote his entire time and strength to the parish. 

The several missions already begun w^ere now cared for by 
others. In 1855, ^^^^ ^^^^ Convocation of November 

1st, Dr. Van Ingen was in charge of the single parish of Christ 
Church in St . Paul ; the Rev . Tim^othy Wilcoxson was the rec- 
tor of St. Luke's in Hastings, and was itinerant missionary of all 
the territory adjacent, wherever a settlement had been begun; 
the Rev. J. A. Russell had taken charge of Stillwatet ; at St. 
Anthony Falls the Rev. J. S. Chamberlain was rector of Holy 
Trinity on the east side, including the settlements around lake 
Minnetonka, v/ith the village of ]^Iinneapolis, and all that coun- 
try^ along the Mississippi as far as Sauk Rapids; the Rev. J. 
Lloyd Breck was missionary to the Ojibways at Gull lake, beyond 
the present city of Brainerd ; the Rev. Solon W, Manney was 
chaplain at Fort Ripley, and the Rev, E. G. Gear was chaplain 
at Fort Snelling; while the Rev. E. Steele Peake was resident 
missionary at Shakopee, and in charge of the villages springing 
up along the Minnesota river. 


To these pioneer clergy the Episcopal Church in Minnesota 
owes very niuch. They were men of strong convictions, beloved 
and esteemed in their day tor their work's sake; and upon the 
foundations wisely laid by these men our first Bishop, as a wise 
master builder, reared the superstructure. 



Tlie first Christian temple in what is now ^linnesota was 
built by two Jesuit missionaries, 3*Iichael Guignas and Nicholas 
Do Gonnor, at the French trading post, Fort Beauharnois, on 
or near the plot now occupied by \'illa ^^laria convent, Fron- 
tenac. This log chapel was ready for use at the end of October, 

In October, 1841, Rev. Lucien Galtier erected the first 
Christian house of worship in the settlement destined to become 
St. Paul. This log chapel of St. Faul. on Bench street, was 
the second Cathiolic church in Minnesota, though for more than 
a year religious services were regularly held in dwellings at 
Fort Snelling and ^lendota. 

In the interval between the time of Guignas and the day 
^^^altier. the fortunes of war had made profound changes in 
the political aspect of the new world and of the old world. In 
1727, when Jesuit missionaries came to evangelize the Indians 
^'1 the unknown Northwest, imperial France, mistress of Can- 
•'^■'l.'i and of the ^lississippi. Catholic Frarice, nursery of mis- 
sionaries for all pagan lands, had readied the zenith of her 
]"'vor and of her glory in North America. When Galtier. son 
'Iiouuh he was of war-scourged France, landed at Fort Snelling 
'•1 li^Uo, he came "as a citizen by choice of the new republic of 
= West, whose rising star of e:.r.pire fiashcd a message of 
''<>[>e to tiie lovers of liberty throughout the world. 

•Kead at the monthly meeting of the Executive Council, December S, ic;o2. 



On first tlionght it may seem strange that about eigluv 
years should have intervened between the abandonment of the 
Frontcnac Indian mission and the inauguration of the Cathohc 
Church in embryonic St. Paul. Hbwever, it must be borne in 
mind that the overthrew of France in the new world left Catii- 
olic missions in the Northwest unprotected and untenable, and 
that the tide of immigration to the upper Mississippi was neces- 
sarily held in abeyance while the young republic of the United 
States v/as struggling a second time with England for the 
independence and territory won in the Revolutionary war. 

In tracing the grcv/th of St. Paul and ^Minnesota account 
must be taken of many agencies. Failure of crops and other 
misfortunes induced many of the Selkirk colonists on the Can- 
adian border to seek homes in more propitious surroundings. 
Some of these refugees, following the Red river and the St. 
Peter or Minnesota, Vv-ere among the first to settle abom Fort 
Snelling. Soldiers of the fort, also, whose term of service ha^l 
expired, took claims in the neighborhood . Soon stragglinc: 
settlements began to form along the banks of the ^Mississippi . 
A cluster of cabins opposite the fort was called St. Peter's, — it 
has since become famous as ]\Iendota. 


When Bishop Loras, of Dubuque, in 1839, visited this part 
of his vast diocese, h.e estimated the number of Catholics at anil 
about Fort Snelling at 185. His enumeration was probably far 
in excess of the number of actual residents. ^lathias Lora- 
came to America in response to an appeal of Bishop Portier, 01 
Mobile, then in France asking for missionaries for his south- 
ern diocese. Father Loras labored faithfully for seven years in 
Alabama, risin.g to the office of Vicar General. In 1837 he was 
appointed bishop of the newly formed diocese of Dubuque, in 
which Vv'as conipriscd the territory of Iowa and all of r^Iinne- 
sota and the Dakotas between the ^lississippi and Missouri 
rivers. On his elevation to the bishopric of Dubuque, Bishop 
Loras in his turn immediately went to France in quest of priests 
for his distant diocese. Returning to America in the winter 
of 1838, he brought with him, among others, Joseph Cretin, A. 
rdamourgues, Lucien Galtier, and Augustine Ravoux. He 
arrived in Dubuque April 19th, 1839. Two months later he 


was setting out for Fort Snelling. This visit is described in 
the following letter, written at Dubuque in July, 1839. 

I have just returned from -St. Peter's [Mendota], where I made 
my second mis^^ion, or episcopal visitation. Though it lasted only a month, 
!t has been crowned with success. I left Dubuque on the 23d of June, 
en board a large and magnificent steam vessel, and accompanied by 
Father Pelamourgues and a voung man who served as interpreter with 
the Sioux. After a successful voyage of some days along the superb 
Mississippi, w^e reached St. Peter's. Our arrival was a cause of great 
joy to the Catholics, who had never before seen a priest ot bi'shop in 
tiiose remote regions. They manifested a great desire to assist at divine 
worship and to approach the sacraments of the Church. The wife of 
cur host was baptized and confirmed : slie subsequently received the 
sacrament of matrimony, The Catholics of St. Peter's amount to 185. 
fifty-six of whom we baptized, administered contirm.aticn to eight, com- 
munion to thirty-three adults, and gave the nuptial blessing to four 

Arrangements have been made for the construction of a church next 
summer, and a clergyman is to be sent when he i>^ able to speak French 
(which is the language of the majority). English, and the Sioux. To 
tncilitate the study of the latter we are to have at Dubuque this winter 
two young Sioux, who are to teach one or two of our young ecclesiastics. 


When navigation opened the following spring. Bishop Lor- 
as fulfilled his promise of sending a priest to Fort Snelling. 
The Rev. Lucien Galtier, one of the young levites brought from 
!• ranee, was selected for the upper Mississippi post. Father 
(iaitier was a man of remarkable personality and power: he had 
the face of a Caesar and the heart of a ^ladonna; in him 
>trcngth and tenderness, culture and simplicity, met and mingled 
ni the formation of a noble character. If he had remained in 
r ranee, his talents and his virtues would have marked him for 
liigh honors, but he preferred the rugged lot and privations of 
pioneer life to the power and fame for which petty men strive, 
hte served the missions of Mendota and St. Paul for four years, 
'lience going directly to Keokuk, Iowa, and afterw^ard to Prairie 
^hi Ciiien, Wisconsin, where he labored zealously for the Master 
from 1849 ^^"til he was called to his reward in 18C6. 

Such was Galtier, the founder of the chapel of St. Paul, 
from which our city received its name, about which our great 
metropolis grew as some medieval cathedral might lift its mas- 
i^ive shoulders and huge frame about its lowly sanctuary. If 




some day the angel of history shall touch the mystic chords of 
memory in a grateful generation and a shaft shall rise toward.-, 
heaven in commemoration of the builder of the first Christian 
temple of St. Paul, let it bear the simple legend: '"Galtier, tlie 
Father of St. Paul." 

Father Galtier in his own modest style shall tell the storv <:i 
his coming to ^^linnesota and of his labors in what was then tlio 
Ultima Thitlc of our young commonwealth. Your imagination 
will paint the wild and forbidding iDackground of the picture 
sketched by his words, addressed to Bishop Loras from Prairie 
du Chien on the 14th day of January, 1864. 

On the 20th day of April. 1840. in the afternoon, a St. Louis steam- 
boat, the first of the season, arrived at Dubuque, bound for St. Peter's am! 
Fort Snelling. Right Reverend Dr. Loras immediately came to me 
and told me that he desired to send me towards the upper waters of 
the Mississippi. There was no St. Paul at that time ; there v/as op. 
tilt site of the present city but a single log house, occupied by a man 
named Phelan, and the steamboats never stopped there. 

The boat landed at the foot of Fort Snelling, then garrisoned by 
a few regular soldiers, under command of Major Plimpton. The sig!;' 
of the fort, commanding from the elevated promontory the two rivers, tho 
Mississippi and the St. Peter, pleased me; but the discovery which I 
soon made that there were only a few houses on the St. Peter side, an ' 
but two on the side of the fort, surrounded by a complete wildernes.;, 
without any signs of fields under tillage, gave me to understand th it 
henceforth my mission and life must be a career of privation, hard trials, 
and suffering, and would require of me patience, labor, and resignatio:,. 
I had before me, under my charge, a large territorial district, but f'-'^v 
souls to watch over. I introduced myself to Mr. Campbell, a Scotc!: 
gentleman, the Indian interpreter, to whom I was recommended by tH'? 
Bishop. At his house I received a kind welcome from his good Chn-t'. -i 
wife, a charitable. Catliolic woman. For about a month I remained tli--'rt 
as one of the family. But. although well treated by all the member-; 
of the house, I did not. while thus living, feel sufficiently free to discharv:- 
my p:.storaI duries. so I obtained a separate room for my own u.^e 
made of it a kitchen, a parlor, and a chapel. Out of some boards I bu:.!: 
a little altar, whicli was. open in time of service, and during the bahmc- 
of th.e day was folded up and concealed by drapery. 

In tliat precarious and somewhat difiicult position I continued 
over a year. On the Fort Snelling side I had under my charge, !x>uk-^ 
som.e soldier^, >ix families — Resche, Papin. Quinn. Campbell, Bruce, nr.- 
Resico; and on the St. Peter side, besides some unmarried men ui tr.-^* 
employ of the company, five families— Faribault, Martin, Lord, and tw ' 
Turpins. . 

A circumstance rather bad in itself commenced to better my 
uation by procuring for me a new station and a change in my fi^*!*-! ^'^ 



'>T. Some families who had left the Red River settlement, British 
America, on account of the floods and loss of the crop in the years 
; 0^77-38, had located themselves all along the bank of the Mississippi 
• pposite the fort. Unfortunately some soldiers crossed the river now and 
ilten to the houses of tliese settlers and returned intoxicated, siometim-s 
remaining out a day or two or more without reporting to their quarters. 
Consequently a deputy marshal from Prairie du Chien was ordered to 
remove the houses. He went to work, assisted by some soldiers, and, 
vine after another, unroofed the cottages, extending about five miles along 
ilie river. Tlie settlers were forced to seeck new homes. 

A new settlement was formed about two miles below tlie cave, com- 
posed of those emigrants from the Red river and others. There wer^ 
RMudo. who purchased the only cultivated piece of ground in the place, 
i'helan's old claim, Vital Guerin, Gervais and his brother, etc. I had 
to visit occasionally these forsaken families. It became necessary to 
choose a suitable spot for a church. Three points were offered, one called 
La Pointe P>asse, or Pointe Leclair (now on account of a sand bar in 
its vicinity commonly known as Pig's Eye bar). I objected to that 
place; it was the extreme end of the settlement, and being low ground 
v.-as. exposed in high water to inundation. Th.e idea of having th; 
church swept down towards St. Louis one day did not please me. Two 
:'.nd one-half miles farther up, on his elevated claim, a Catholic named 
Charles IMousseau offered me an acre of 'his ground: but neither did 
this place suit my purpose. I was truly looking ahead to the future as 
well as seeing to the present time. Seamboats could not stop there; the 
bank was too steep, and the space cn the summit was too narrow, and 
communication difficult with the places of the other settlers up and down 
the river. 

After mature retiection several persons asked me to put up the 
church as near as possible to the cave, it being more convenient for me 
on my way from St. Peter's to cross the river at this point, and that 
place being the nearest point to the head of navigation outside the 
reservation line. ^Messrs. B. Gervais and Vital Guerin, two good, quiet 
farmers, owned the only spot that appeared likely to suit. They both 
cnsented to give the ground necessary for a church, a garden, and a 
-mall graveyard. I accepted the extreme e? stern part of ^Ir. Vital's 
claim and the extreme west of ^Ir. Gervais'. In the month of October, 1841, 
I had on the above stated place logs cut and prepared, and soon a poor 
h'g church that would well remind one of the stable of Bethlehem was 
built. The nucleus of St. Paul was formed. On November ist, I 
h'.ev->ed the new basilica, smaller, indeed, than the Basilica of St. Paul in 
Rome, but as well adapted as the latter for prayer and love to arise 
tlK'vcin from pious hearts. 


The first site iirg-ed upon Father Galticr was probably not 
i.'ir from where Father Hennepin and his Dakota captors de- 



barked at the end of April, 1680, to begin their overland jounicv 
to the Indian village at Mille Lacs. Father Galtier wisely de- 
cided that the ground there was dangerously low, and that ihc 
second, or Dayton's Bluff site, on the other hand, was inacco. 
§ibly high. The only available location remaining v/as the pi"*. 
betw^een Bench and Third streets and between ^^Ilnnesota an-i 
Cedar streets. This was chosen, and in October, 1841, eight 
men accepted as a labor of love the task of erecting the hr.-t 
house of worship in their new home. The honored names ui 
the builders are: Isaac Labissonniere, Joseph Labissonnicrc, 
the two Pierre Gervais, Pierre Bottineau, Charles Bottineau. 
Francois ]\Iorin, and Vital Guerin. 

The only survivor of those who built the original chapel is 
Isaac Labissonniere, who resides in this city at 575 Canada 
street. Though nearly eighty years of age, his mind is remark- 
ably keen and his memory surprisingly clear. ]\Ir. Labisson- 
niere was born in Pembina, X. D., in 1823; he came to Sr. 
Paul in 1837. In 1852 he removed to Osseo, in Hennepin coun- 
ty, and returned to St. Paul in 1902. I give the substance of 
several interviews with the old gentleman : 

I remember well the circumstances attending the building of the lo'^; 
chapel in 1841. Perhaps by general consent rather than the appointnion: 
of Father Galtier, my father held the office of general superintendent ot 
the building. Eight of us at first volunteered for the work; others 
offered themselves later. 

The ground selected for the site of the church was thinly covcreJ 
with groves of red oak and white oak. Where the cathedral stands wa> 
then a tamarack swamp. The logs for the chapel were cut on the sp':t. 
and the tamarack swamp in tlie rear was made to contribute rafters a:-«-i 
roof pieces. We had poor building tools in those days, and our work 
was not beautifully finished. The logs, rough and undressed, prepare' : 
merely by the ax, were made secure by wooden pins. The roof was maJj 
of steeply slanting bark-covered slabs, donated by a mill-owner of Stiil- 
w*ater. The slabs were carried to St. Paul by a steamboat, the captain 
accepting in payment a few days' service of one of the men. The-e 
slabs were landed at Jackson street, and were drawn up the hill by 
hand with ropes. The slabs were likev.'ise put to good use in the con- 
struction of the floor and of the benches. 

The chapel, as I remember it, was about twenty-five feet lon^. 
eighteen feet wide, and ten feet high. It had a single window on caei: 
side and it faced the river. It was completed in a few days, and could 
not have represented an expenditure in labor value of more than $65. 


Mr. Labiisonnicre's description of the old church agrees es- 
-ciiti:i!ly with Monsignor Ravoux's expressed views, and it may 
J.0 accepted as sufiiciently accurate. 

Such was the Galtier chapel, as. amidst trees and tangled 
growths, it stood with unshaven sides, steep roof, and simple 
•,r-s-, crowning tlie brow of the nascent city. Such it was on 
iiiC first of November, 1841, when it was solemnly dedicated to 
the worship of God. 

On that memorable day, it admitted within its hallowed pre- 
ciiicts Swiss watchmakers now trying to coax a pittance from an 
unaccustomed soil, voyageurs who seemed to make a romance 
of poverty and trial, courciirs dc hois who still wore some rags 
the civilization of better days, adventuresome seekers of furs 
and fortune, sons of France and Erin, who are always to be 
iV.und at the outposts of civilization, and silent Sioux, wdio yet 
remembered the Dlack-gown's story of the cross. Could any 
f-nc of this m.otley group of worshippers, gazing into the future, 
have dreamed of the meaning and tlie promise of the simple cere- 
mony just witnessed in the ''Betlxlehem" of the Xorthv/est? It 
was, in" fact, not only the local inauguration of the universal 
Cluirch, but the founding of a great city destined to create and 
s^uide the destinies of a vast commonwealth. 

The passing of the name, St. Paul, from the church which 
was tli'e nucleus of the future city to the settlement itself, is 
<lescribed as follows by Father Galtier in the letter already 

The church was thus dedicated to St. Paul, and I expressed a wish 
^■'•Tt tlie settlement should be known by no other name. I succeeded 

this. I had previously to this time fixed my residence at St. Peter, 
ind as the name of St. Paul is generally connected with that of St. Peter, 
snd the Gentiles being well represented in the new p!:ice in the persons 

Indians, T called it St. Paul's 

The name of St. Paul, applied to a town or city, seemed appropriate. 
Th? monosyllable is short, sounds well, is understood by all denomina- 
''"•ns. Hence, when later an attempt ,wa3 made to change the name of 
•'"'C place. I opposed the vain project, even by writing from Prairie da 
Cnien. When Mr. Vital [GuerinJ was married, 1 published the bans as 
Wing those of a resident of St. Paul. An American named Jackson put 
"P a store, and a grocery was opened at the. foot of the Gervais claim. 
Tliis soon caused steimboats to land there: henceforward the place was 
V:nown as St. Paul landing. 



The only other event of note, after the dedication, in tlic 
recorded history of the chapel, previous to its enlargement in 
1847, ^^'as an official visitation and the administration of confirm- 
ation by Bishop Loras on the fiftli day of June, 1842. 


Our sketch now brings us to a venerable figure among us. 
the patriarch' of the Church in .Minnesota, the living link be- 
tween the luxurious present and the pioneer past, the noblest 
Roman of them all, Augustine Ravoux. Commissioned bv Lor- 
as in August, 1 841, as missionary plenipotentiary among the 
Sioux, he devoted himself with marvelous success to that work 
till he was compelled to take the post left vacant by the with- 
drawal of Father Galtier in 1844. From that date until the 
coming of Bishop Cretin, in 1851, he was the only priest in 
Minnesota, "the lonely sentinel of Rome on the banks of the 
upper ^lississippi." Father Ravoux divided his time between 
Mendota and St. Paul, giving two Sundays to the former to 
the one in St. Paul, until in 1849 it was necessary to reverse 
the order of attendance, as jMendota was falling hopelessly be- 
hind her young sister village in point of population. 

In his "Reminiscences and Memoirs," page 59, Father Ra- 
voux says: "In 1847 '^^'^ had to make an addition to the chapel 
of St. Paul, erected by the Rev. Father Galtier in 1841. The 
small chapel used by the Sisters of St. Joseph, till their removal 
to St. Joseph's academy, form.ed the addition." 

On page 62 of the same book is the following item about 
tl^.e church to wliich Bishop Cretin was introduced in 185 1" 
"And the cathedral, tlie chapel described above, was a log build- 
ing about forty-five feet long by eighteen wide." The addition, 
therefore, put up by Father Ravoux, v/as eighteen by about 
twenty feet. These figures seem to correspond with MonsigTior 
Ravoux's map recently published. The old chapel was shinglccl 
and otherwise repaired to make it conform to the part aud-j-i 
in 1847. 

It is worthy of mention that the bell of the *'Argo," a steam- 
er wliich sunk in the Z^Iississippi in the autumn of 1847, was 
presented to Father Ravoux by the Flon. Henry M. Rice. U 
was installed in a little belfry beside tlie chapel in the winter "t 



1847-8. This was the first mounted bell dedicated to the use 
ot any church or scliool in Minnesota. 


So far as reaching a satisfactory conclusion is concerned, 
tlic most difficult point with which this paper has to deal is 
whether the pictures commonly called the ''First Chapel of St. 
Paul" represent really the old building, or merely the addition of 
1847, or in some way a combination of both. Consignor Ra- 
voux contends that the painting by Alexis Fournier in 1888 
(presented by Mr. James J. Flill to this Historical Society) 
shows only his addition. His argumicnt is supported by the ap- 
parent dimensions of the structure, and by the further fact that 
the two windows appear to have been in the original plan of 
the designer. 

Against this view is the rough appearance of the logs, show- 
ing only here and there a touch of the axe on tlie outer surface ; 
the popular belief of the pioneer sisters and old priests, like 
Monsignor Oster, who never doubted that the Fournier sketch 
was the first chapel ; and, above all, the daguerreotypes taken 
before and after 1853, which show the cross and main entrance 
at the south end of the chapel, whereas the addition admittedly 
faced north, toward Third street. The "Nucleus*' lithograph, 
published by J. E. Whitney and William G. Le Due in 1853, 
.*ihowing a nearly square building with only one window^ on the 
side and entitling it "Nucleus of St. Paul," is the sam.e as the 
front part of the Fournier painting. The original daguerreo- 
type of the chapel, which was followed in the painting, was 
made in 1854, according to Edward A. Bromley in his "Photo- 
graphic History of Early St. Paul," 1901 . An enlarged pho- 
tographic copy of it is displayed in the rooms of this Historical 
Society . 

The Directory of the city of St. Paul for 1856-7, published 
by Goodrich & Somers, January, 1857, reproduced the common- 
ly accepted picture, similar to the painting by Fournier, and 
^'alled it "the first building erected for public purposes." "Our 
fellow citizen," the Directory continued, "J. E. Whitney,, da- 
guerreotyped the building as it stood until 1855, and has kindly 
permitted us to use the following engraving prepared from the 




same." If that picture, made at a time when the Galtier build- 
ing was fresH in the minds of all, was not at all a representation 
of the old building, is it not passing strange that the error was 
not corrected with haste and vigor? 

In all probability, the Fournier painting shows the old build- 
ing and a sm.all section of the '47 addition, the camera in the first 
instance taking only part of the church as it stood in 1854. We 
therefore conclude that the "Nucleus" picture, in everything ex- 
cept the new roof added in 1847, is an accurate portrayal of the 
first chapel of St. Paul. 


The next and most important event in the life of the chapel 
was the installation of the Right Rev. Joseph Cretin as bishop 
of St. Paul, July 2, 1851. Of this the "Minnesota Democrat," 
of July 8, 185 1, says: 

The coming of the bishop to this place was hailed with considerabli 
enthusiasm by our Catholic fellow citizens. In the evening large num- 
bers ass-embled in the log chapel on the bluff to see him and hear his 
voice. Religious ceremonies appropriate to the church were performed. 
The Te Deum and the Magnificat were chanted, and the bishop addressed 
the congregation both in English and in French. 

The services closed with the bishop's benediction on the congregation. 
Those who know the bishop well, and of different sects, represent hitn 
as a highly educated and excellent man. an American in all his sympathies, 
and warmly attached to the free institutions of our country. 


Of Bishbp Cretin and the second cathedral Consignor Ra- 
voux says, on page 63 of his ^Memoirs : "Before the lapse of five 
months after his arrival in St. Paul, he had erected on block 
seven, in St. Paul proper [Wabasha and Sixth streets], a brick- 
building eighty-four feet long by forty-four feet wide, three 
stories and a half high, including the basement. This building 
became immediately the second cathedral of St. Paul, and also 
the second residence of the Rt. Rev. Bishop, of his priests and 
seminarians; and a few months after, some apartments of the 
basement were used as school rooms for boys." 

This brick house on Wabasha street served as the cathedral 
until the present stone building on St. Peter and Sixth streets 
was opened for services, June 13, 1858. Excavation for the 
third cathedral of St. Paul was begun in 1854, and its corner 



stone was laid by Monsignor Timon, bishop of Buffalo, N. Y., 
in 1856. ' ' 

Bishop Cretin did not live to see the new cathedral finished, 
— to Monsignor Ravoux belongs the credit of having erected 
that building. To Bishop Cretin, first bishop and father of the 
diocese of St. Paul, who died February 22nd, 1857, 
traced many of the projects which have brought about the 
marvelous development of the Catholic church in Minnesota. 


What became of the old log church on Bench street? When 
the brick church on Wabasha street was opened, in November, 
1851, the old church was turned over to the Sisters of St. Joseph, 
whom the bishop had called from St. Louis for school work. 
It was used by the sisters for one purpose or another from 185 1 
to 1863. If time pennitted, many a droll and touching tale 
might be told of the experiences of these pioneer nuns, the first 
Catholic teachers in St. Paul. 

Four made up the first colony, viz. : Mother St. John Four- 
nier, of France; Sister J\I. Philomene, of France; Sister M. 
Scholastic Valasquez, of St. Louis; and Sister Frances Joseph 
Ivory, of Loretto, Pa. In the notes preserved by the Sisters of 
St. Joseph is the following reference to the trip of the intrepid 
four from St. Louis to St. Paul: "Major Fridley and his 
family were on the boat. The major, who was agent for the 
Chippewa Indians, was always trying to impress upon the miinds 
of the other passengers this fact— that St. Paul was really a 
very nice place, though new and a little wild. *Yes/ hie. would 
say, *a Httle wild.' " 

The nuns arrived in St. Paul November 2nd, 1851, and 
they opened their school in the vestry of the old church on the 
loth of the same month. The sisters lived in the old shanty, 
eighteen feet square and one storv' high, which had served as 
the episcopal palace. The house was heated by a stove, an open- 
ing in the roof permitting the pipes to pass out and the cold air 
to pass in. A diary of the sisters says : 

While preparing the vestry for a school room the sisters noticed 
several openings in the logs, through which daylight could be seen; they 
^^new that through these same openings cold air could enter, and there- 
tore they called on the pupils for old newspapers, with which they hoped 
to exclude both the one and the other. Wednesday afternoon, their first 



half-holiday, was devoted to stopping up the chinks by forcing folded papor 
into them. Then the artistic powers of teachers and pupils were taxed to 
decorate the walls and the stuffed crevices. 

On the first day of the school fourteen pupils were enrolled. 
The number, so increased that, as the records quoted above in- 
form us, early in April, 1852, the pupils were crowded out of the 
vestry ''into the old log church that had been fitted up for a school." 
In the spring and summer of 1852 a two-story brick school, 42 
by 21 feet, was erected for the sisters. The new school was 
connected by a corridor-like frame structure with the old shanty 
which had been their first dwelling place. When the school was 
removed from the log church, it w^as restored to its original 
purpose and remained the sisters' chapel until they vacated Bench 


In 1853 Bishop Cretin decided to build a hospital. Hon. 
Henry M. Rice donated land for the purpose, and in 1854 St. 
Joseph's hospital was completed. The original building was 
only the central part of modern St. Joseph^s. In 1854 the 
cholera was brought to St. Paul by boatmen, and as the new 
hospital was not ready, the indispensable old church was turned 
into a temporary hospital, reverting again on the subsidence of 
the epidemic to use as a chapel. 

In 1859, on the arrival of Bishop Grace, the sisters' school, 
or St. Joseph's academy, was transferred to the hospital building 
on Exchange street, and the hospital was removed to Bench 
street. So matters stood until the sisters, on the last day 01 
July, 1863, took possession of the nucleus of their buildings on 
Nelson and Western avenues. 


The old log church, or what remained of it, was then in a di- 
lapidated condition. It was the intention of Bishop Grace to 
have the old chapel rebuilt and preserved as a relic on tlie 
grounds of St. Joseph's academy. For that purpose he had 
the logs removed there, but the men at work on the academy, 
not knowing what the logs were for, burnt them to warm their 
hands or their coffee. 

Out of the fragments of one of these logs that escaped de- 
struction Bishop Grace had two gavels made. One of these \va> 



presented to the Minnesota Historical Society, and the other was 
kept at the Cathedral. Unfortunately both have disappeared — 
the last remnants of the log chapel of St. Paul. 

The old log chapel has disappeared, but its noble offshoots 
remain : the city which from it took its origin and its name ; the 
Catholic Church in ^Minnesota, which traces to its humble door 
the splendid story of its growth. The civil and ecclesiastical 
commonwealths in the Northwest shared the same cradle, the 
struggles of primitive times, and the triumphs of later days. 
Working harmoniously in the future as in the past, may these 
two forces develop on the favored soil of IMinnesota the flower of 
-American citizenship. 




First Paper, 1849 to 1854. 

In writing this history I have tried, as far as possible, to give 
it compact and interesting form. Therefore I have classed the 
newspapers by years and dates of first issues, where obtainable, 
and sought to enliven their history by anecdotal, biographical, and 
other leferences to their editors, and to the rough and ready 
times that environed them. 


The first newspaper printed in ^linnesota was the Minnesota 
Pioneer. James M. Goodhue was its editor and owner. He 
represented the intense personal journalism of the last centurv 
ill the extreme west as pointedly as James Gordon Bennett, of 
the New York Herald, in the extreme east. 

Goodhue was born in Hebron, New Hampshire, March 31st, 
1810, Vv'as graduated from Amherst College in 1832, studied law, 
w?s admitted to the bar, and practiced some time in the East and 
in Wivxonsin, before becoming an editor. The Pioneer of April 
15^^^ 1852, gives the following graphic description of his coming 
to Minnesota, then a Territory only a few days more than six 
weeks old. 

The i8th day of April, 1849, was a raw, cloudy day. The steamboat 
Senator, Capt. Smith, landed at Randall's warehouse, lower landing, the 
only building then there except Robert's old store. . . . Took our press, 

•Read in a scries of five papers at monthly raeetinas of the Executive Council, Feb. 10 
aad Nov. 10. 1902, Feb. 9 and Oct. 12, 1903, and Feb. 8, 1904. 





types, and printing apparatus all ashore. Went with our men to the 
house of Mr. Bass, corner of Third and Jackson streets. He kept the 
onlv public house in St. Paul ; and it was crowded full, from cellar to 
crarret. Mr. Bass was very, obliging and did ever>^thing possible for our 
encouragement. The next thing was a printing office; and that it seemed 
impossible to obtain. iSIade the acquaintance of C. P. V. Lull and his 
partner, Gilbert. They furnished us, gratuitously, the lower story of their 
building for an office — the only vacant room in town. . . . The weather 
was cold and stormy, and our office was as open as a corn-rick. How- 
ever, we picked our types up and made ready for the issue of the first 
paper ever printed in Minnesota or within many hundred m.iles of it ; 
but upon search we found our news chase was left behind. William 
Nobles, blacksmith, made us a very good one after a delay of two or three 

The paper was to be named "The Epistle of Saint Paul," as an- 
nounced in our prospectus, published in the Februar\- preceding; but we 
found so many little Saints in the Territory, jealous of Saint Paul, that 
■we determined to call our paper "The Minnesota Pioneer." One hind- 
rance after another delayed our first issue to the 28th of April, ten days. 

The uncomfortable surroundings of the editor while in the 
Lull building are humorously referred to in the Pioneer of June 
28th; 1849. says: ''Not that we would find fault with the 

pigs, for it is all owing to their bringing up; but really our 
equanimity is somewhat ruffled, if our chair is not jostled, by 
the movements of their hard backs under our loose floor/' Quite 
a step from that rude room and its little hand press to the 
stately Pioneer Building and its power presses of today ! 

After a few weeks in the Lull building Goodhue found a 
better location for his office in the second story of a frame build- 
ing on the south side of Third street, between ^Minnesota and 
Robert streets. It was owned by Samuel H. Sargent, who used 
the first story for a store. The Lull and Sargent buildings were 
both burned in the fire that swept lower Third street in 1S60. 

The iMinnesota Pioneer was a four-page, six-column sheet. 
A cci)v of the first number is in the vault of the Historical So- 
cietv. It is still in a fair state of preservation, but soon will be 
worn out if kept in tlie regular files. Allow me to suggest that 
it be framed, with a glass on each side, and hung where it can 
be examined but not handled. ' 

October 4th, 1840, Goodhue enlarged the Pioneer to seven 
colun-.ns, and on the nth his brother, Isaac N. Goodhue, be- 
came junior editor. November 7th, 1850, the name of the 



brother disappeared from the paper, and James Goodhue con- 
tinued it alone. 

As soon as possible after coming to St. Paul, Mr. Goodhue 
built a cheap one-story house for his family. It faced Bench 
(now Second) street, between Cedar and Wabasha. It was but 
little better than a shack. In 1850 he built a better house on 
St. Peter and Third streets, his garden running back towards 
Fourth street on the ground that the jail now occupies. After 
his second residence was completed, he turned the first into a 
printing office. This was enlarged in 1851 by annexing a barn 
that stood conveniently near. There the printing office remained 
until 1854, when it went to the southeast corner of Third and 
Jackson street. 

Goodhue knew well how to crayon with words. ^lore than 
fifty years ago he pictured in a single graphic sentence a compari- 
son between St. Paul and St. Anthony, now Minneapolis, that 
still holds pointedly true — ''There can be no rivalry between them 
any more than there can be between a steam boat and a cotton 
factory, or a coal barge and a trip hammer." 

In the stroke of another sentence he pictured the destiny 
of the Indian: "Before those tw^o great engines of civilization, 
the whiskey shop and the printing office, the poor Indians stand 
no more chance than so many Mexicans before two batteries of 
grape and canister." 

In the issue of June loth, 1852, he says to a young man who 
wants information about the churches, education, and weather 
of the territory : "As multiplying churches will no more anni- 
hilate sin than multiplying insurance offices will annihilate fires, 
the number of our churches affords no certain index of the 

degree of piety and morality attained to in St. Paul 

As for intellect, we have several of the greatest men of the age 

here; and^ they will own it themselves The coldest 

day last winter froze the mercury (but th.en that was owing 
to exposing the thermometer to the cold weather!)" Mingled 
with these odd announcements, Goodhue gives the young man 
much valuable information. Evidently he punctuated that way 
to make his ad\ ice more ettective. 

Mis oddly graphic way of putting things is further shown 
in liis description of the livery stable of one of his early patrons. 



He says : "I^is livery horses are none of your lank, spavined, 
ring-boned, foundered, half-hipped, Vvdieezing, hoof-bound, knock- 
kneed, gambrel-legged. sore-headed, shadowy animals that lock- 
as if they had just come limping out of the Apocalypse, the 
progeny of the pale horse described in the Revelation, which 
Death and Hell followed after/' 

In his editorial correspondence to his paper he says in an- 
swer to questions about St. Paul : "The town looks as if the 
seed for a multitude of tenements had been scattered yesterday 
upoiii a bed of guano, and had sprouted up into cabins, and 
stores, and sheds, and v;arehouses, fresh from the sawmill since 
the last sun shone." Then he went on as usual to tell what 
fine openings were here for everybody to come and fill. 

Some one had expressed a fear of v/hat we now call a 
boom and a consequent revulsion. He replies : "As tb whether 
there will be a revulsion sometim.e in St. Paul, we can only say 
we have no doubt of it. We should expect nothing else of a 
town which has in it the elements of a vigorous growth; but 
we would not recommend the cultivation of dwarf apple trees 
for fear that thrifty trees mJght have the tips of their limbs 
nipped by the frosts of winter, would you?" 

Such was this gifted character in his sunny moods. But 
when he stood, strong limbed and deep rooted, in the stress of 
storm, impracticable as he was, one can not help admiring the 
dauntless moral courage of the man. This is the way he saw 
the duty and mission of an editor in those days of careless in- 
difference and low morality: "Let an editor slash avv-ay, — any- 
thing but salve, salve, salve, when the dissecting knife is needed. 
The journal that does nothing but paddle along with public 
opinion, without breasting the current of popular errors, is ot 
no value — none wliatever." 

Charles K. Smith, the Territorial secretary, whom he blamed 
for delaying the pay for the Government printing he had done, 
was removed in 1S51. As he went out of St. Paul, Goodhue 
gave him this characteristic parting dig: "He stole into the 
Territory, he stole in the Territory, and ilien stole out of the 

The Pioneer editorial on Alexander ?^Iitchell and David 
Cooper of January i6th, 185 1, is a fair sample of the editorial 
slashings of Goodhue. Mitchell was the United States marshal, 



and Cooper was associate justice of the Territory. Coope^, it is 
said, wanted to be Chief Justice. Goodhue did not hke their 
repeated absences, nor their conduct generally. Finally he at- 
tacked them in an editorial of near a column in length. Of the 
marshal he said : "Since the organization of the Teritory, Mitch- 
ell has not been in it long enough by a continued residence to be 
entitled to vote; yet he has been long enough here to be known 
as a man utterly destitute of moral principle, manly bearing, 
or even physical courage." Of Judge Cooper he said: "He 
is lost to all sense of decency and self-respect. Off of the Bench 
he is a beast, and on the Bench he is an ass, stuffed with arro- 
gance,, self-conceit, and a ridiculous affectation of dignity." He 
closed the editorial as follows : 

We have had enough officers who are daily liable to arrest under 
the vagabond act ; w ho never set a good example, perform an honest act, 
or pay an honest debt. We can endure much without complaint. It is less 
the need of a marshal and a judge that we complain of. than of the infliction 
of such incumbents. Feeling some resentment for the wrongs our terri- 
tory has so long suffered by these men pressing upon us like a dispensa- 
tion of wrath, a judgment, a curse, a plague, unequaled since the hour 
when Egj-pt went lousy, we sat down to write this article with some bit- 
terness ; but our ver\- gall is honey to what they deserve. 

The affidavit of John F. Tehan, printed in the Pioneer of 
the next week, January 23rd, states that the fight on account 
of this editorial occurred between Goodhue and Joseph Cooper, 
a brother of Judge Cooper, between eleven and twelve o'clock 
of Wednesday, the 15th, the Pioneer having been issued that 
week a day in advance of its publication day. From the affidavit 
it" appears that Cooper acted on the offensive, and Goodhue on 
the defensive. Goodhue was stabbed twice, and Cooper was shot 
once. As Goodhue wrote for the Pioneer of February 6th nearly 
three colum.ns of editorial, hardly less venomous than the one 
lor which he w^as attacked, it appears that he could not have 
been much hurt in the affray. 

The fight occurred on St. Anthony street, now Third street, 
in front of the lot where the Metropolitan Hotel now stands. 
The details are thus described by a citizen who saw it from start 
to finish. 

On Wednesday, January 15th, Mr. Joseph Cooper and Mr. Goodhue 
met on St. Anthony street near the Minnesota Democrat office, and after 



exchanging some words, each drew a pistol. They were then partially 
separated. Mr. Cooper gave up his pistol. :Mr. Goodhue's pistol then 
discharged its load accidentally. Air. Cooper then rushed upon him and 
struck him with his fist. Mr. Goodhue then drew another pistol, and 
while in the act of cocking' it, was knocked down by a stone thrown by 
Mr. Cooper. As Goodhue was rising to his feet Cooper rushed upon 
him, but was seized by the arm by a bystander, and at this moment was 
fired upon by Goodhue, receiving the ball in the side. Cooper then broke 
loose from the party who held him and rushed furiously upon Goodhue, 
and in a moment inflicted with a dirk knife two w^ounds upon him, one in 
his abdomen and one in his side. They were then separated. 

I have given considerable space to Goodhue for I have felt 
that I could not bring the intensely personal journalism of the 
early, fifties into clearer light than by letting its chief exponent 
speak for himself. 

Joseph R. Brown became editor and proprietor of the Pio- 
neer after the death of Goodhue in 1852. He knew him and 
the needs of those early times as probably no other man knew 
them. In his editorial tribute published September ist, 1853, he 
said : 

Many of his editorials would have done no discredit to the New 
York Herald in its most palmy days. . . . The keenness and brilliancy 
with which he used his pen remind us of Fitz James' flashing weapon in 
his combat with "Roderick Dhu. 

"For, trained abroad his arms to wield, 
Fitz James' blade was sword and shield." 

James M, Goodhue was a warm and fast friend of Minnesota to the 
day of his death. He will be remembered with the small band of sturdy 
men who labored constantly and with iron resolution to establish the pil- 
lars of society in our Territory upon a sound moral basis. His press was 
always found on the side of law, order, temperance, and virtue. 

Hon. William P. Murray still lives among us, hale, hearty, 
and one of our best citizens. He was a forty-niner, and a per- 
sonal friend of Goodhue. He says: "Goodhue's aim and object 
was to make St. Paul a great city, not only in good morals but 
in good government. He advocated with all his ability the 
passage of laws and ordinances for the better government of it-== 

Goodhue died Friday evening, August 27th, 1852. 
was buried in the family lot in the old part of Oakland cemetery. 
A fire, and the cutting of some trees, destroyed the identity of 
his grave. Finally, after the lapse of nearly forty-eight years, 
excavation of the lot uncovered what was left of the perishable 



part of Gooclhue. His brother identified the remains, and they 
were re-interred June 5th, 1900. , 


The Minnesota Chronicle was the second newspaper printed 
in Minnesota. It was a four-page, seven-column, Whig- paper, 
published weekly. Its first issue was ^May 31st, 1849. James 
Hughes, a former resident of Ohio, was its editor and proprietor. 

The Minnesota Register, coming in July, made two Whig 
papers, while the party in the state was largely in the minority. 
Each continuing, one and perhaps both would starve. There 
was nothing to do but to consolidate. Hughes sold his plant to 
McLean and Owens of the Register, and August 25th, 1849, 
the first number of the Chronicle and Register appeared, Au- 
gust 9th being the last issue of the Chron.Tle. It was printed 
in a small one-story building on the northwest corner of Fifth 
and Jackson streets. Hughes went to Hudson, Wisconsin, and 
died there in 1874. 


The third paper printed in Minnesota was the Minnesota 
Register, its date being July 14th, 1849. ^^'^^ a Whig, four- 
page, six-column sheet. An earlier number of the Register was 
printed in Cincinnati, Ohio, dated Saturday, April 27th, 1849, 
though Saturday was really April 28th, and was sent to St. 
Paul by steamboat for distribution. Dr. A. Randall, the editor, 
did not follow it. He started for California by overland route 
instead, having taken a position under Col. Collier, collector of 
the port of San Francisco. 

Under date of September 22nd, 1849, '*^he Cincinnati Com- 
mercial reported that Randall had been killed in a fight in the 
Rocky mountains, over some kind of mineral. He was killed 
by a man who went from near Hamilton, Ohio. 

Randall was well known in Minnesota, having been con- 
nected with Prof. David Dale Owen's geological survey of the 
Xorthwest. It seems that he went to Cincumati in the fall of 
1848 to buy a printing press and material; but winter caught 
him, and in the spring Goodhue got here first. Placing the 
outfit with John P. Owens, his partner, Randall started for Cal- 
ifornia, disposing of his interest in it to Nathaniel McLean while 
on his way. This was done by letter from Fort Leavenworth 




under date of ]\Iay 17th, 1849. Accordingly, the issue of Julv 
14th had N. McLean and J. P. Owens at its head. 

The Register was run until August i8th, 1849, when, a 
consoHdation having been effected with the Chronicle, also a 
Whig paper, the name was changed to Minnesota Chronicle and 
Register, a four-page, seven-column issue, with Hughes and 
Owens as editors and proprietors. This would indicate that 
jMcLean had stepped out, but it seems that he was not in the 
Territory when the union of the papers was made. He arrived 
soon afterward, however, and approved it ; but I find no explan- 
ation made of the absence of his name from the first number of 
the combination. 

After the arrival of ^IcLean, a proposition to sell or buy 
was made to Hughes. Hughes sold, and August 25th the paper 
appeared, with ]\IcLean, Owens, and Quay, editors and publish- 
ers, Quay having been the printer of the Chronicle. Septem- 
ber 15th the name of Quay disappeared from the combination, 
and McLean and Owens becamie editors and publishers of the 
paper. August 12th, 1850, L. A. Babcock purchased it. He, in 
turn, sold to Charles J. Henniss. The transfer was made Novem- 
ber 25th, 1850. He ran it until February loth, 185 1, when a 
reference to a circular issued to Whigs, expressing dissatisfaction 
with Henniss, appeared in the paper, and it was sold and absorbed 
by the Minnesota Democrat. Henniss was collector of the port 
of St. Paul from 1851 to 1853. He died February 14th, 1856. 

The Register was first printed on St. Anthony (now Third) 
street, nearly opposite the head of Hill street. In 185 1 it moved 
into a building then standing partly on the ground that the 
Metropolitan Hotel now occupies. It later moved into the stone 
building owned by Col. D. A. Robertson on the present site of 
the McQuillan Block, at the northeast corner of Third and Wa- 
basha streets, having been merged into the Minriesota Democrat 
as before noted. 


Major Nathaniel McLean was born in Morris County, New 
Jersey, May i6th, 1787. He was a brother of Judge John 
McLean of the L'nited States Supreme Court, and an ofticer in 
the War of 181 2. He began his journalistic career in Ohio 
where he was editor and publisher of the Western Star, at 
Lebanon, about the year 1811. From 1810 to 1820 he represented 




his dictrict in the Ohio legislature. ]\IcLean purchased the in- 
terest of Dr. Randall in the Minnesota Register in ]\Iay, 1849, 
and John P. Owens brought the press and material to St. Paul, 
and in July began its publication. ^IcLean, detained by illness, 
did not get here until about the middle of August. 

Nov. 3rd, 1849, ^IcLean was appointed agent of the Sioux 
Indians at Fort Snelling, and August 12th, 1850, when Babcock 
bought the Chronicle and Register, ^IcLean bid farewell to jour- 
nalism. He held the office of Indian agent until the spring of 
1853. He was one of the most prominent, of the Whigs in those 
days, and a fine man in every sense of the word. He died in St. 
Paul, April nth, 1871, in the eighty-fourth year of his age. 


John P. Owens was another unique creator of Minnesota 
journalism. In his genial, blunt, and careless ways he resembled 
Goodhue. His humorous description of the wedding of the 
Pioneer and Democrat, printed November 2nd, 1855, in the 
Minnesotian, is equal to the best that Goodhue ever wrote. 
He could hold his own in the personal journalistic scraps of 
those days, also, with the best of them, as is shown in his article 
of September 24th. 1851, in the Minnesotian, headed *'OrfuI 
Times." Captain Dodd, one of those against whom it was aimed, 
knocked him down and beat him severely for it a few days after. 
His bitter attack upon Col. D. A. Robertson in the issue of the 
Minnesotian of November 13th, 1851, was a severely caustic 
arraignment of a journalistic opponent. 

Mr. Owens was born in Dayton, Ohio, January 6th, 18 18, 
was educated in Woodward College, Cincinnati, and afterward 
learned the printer's trade, but early turned to journalism. He 
was an ardent Whig, and in the celebrated Harrison campaign 
of 1840 did his party effective service, in burlesquing Ohio 
Democratic meetings, over the name of Joe Davis. He came 
to St Paul in the latter part of May, 1849, bringing the printing 
outfit of the ^linnesota Register, of which he was part owner. 
Major McLean, as already mentioned, did not come until the 
following August. In the meantime Owens went ahead and got 
out the Register, the first issue printed in the Territory being 
July 14th. 

• In 1862 Mr. Owens was appointed quartermaster of the 
Ninth Minnesota Infantry, and served until discharged in 1S65. 



being meantime commissioned a colonel. In 1869 he was ap- 
pointed register of the United States Land Office at Tavlor's 
Falls, ^Minnesota, and died there on the nth of September, 1S84. 


The fourth newspaper venture started in ^linnesota was 
the Dakota Friend. It was a monthly missionary paper printed 
half in English and half in the Dakota language. It began in 
1850 and lasted about two years. Rev. Gideon H. Pond was 
its editor. Of this paper Goodhue said in the Pioneer of ]March 
6th, 1851 : ''The little press of the Chronicle office has been 
horribly twisted and distorted by printing the crooked Sioux dia- 
lect of The Friend." 


The fifth paper started in Minnesota was the Minnesota Dem- 
cfcrat. It was a four-page,, seven-column weekly, owned and 
edited by Col. D. A. Robertson. The date of its first issue was 
December loth, 1850. It was started in the interest of one of 
the Democratic factions of that day. Henniss of the Whig 
Chronicle and Register, and Robertson of the Democrat, com- 
bined their forces against Goodhue of the Pioneer, to get the 
public printing. Goodhue won, and soon afterward Henniss soI<l 
his press and material to Robertson. 

The Democrat was first published in the same building v- ith 
the Chronicle and Register, where the Metropolitan Hotel (for- 
merly the Winslow House) now stands. In 185 1 it was moved 
to Col. Robertson's new building at the northeast corner of 
Third and Wabasha streets. June 29th, 1853, Robertson soM 
the paper to David Olmsted, who, on Mav ist, 1854, began tiio 
publication of a four-page, six-column, evening daily. 

September 6th, 1854, Charles L. Emerson purchased the 
Democrat, and ran it until August nth, 1855, when he sold t*^ 
Joseph R. Brown, from whom Earle S. Goodrich had purchased 
the Pioneer in ^larch of the preceding year. October 31st, 1855. 
the two papers were consolidated, and, on November ist, the firsr 
number of the Pioneer and Democrat was issued, a combination 
which lasted until September 5th, 1862, when Mr. Goodnc'i 
severed the hyphenated connection and the paper became tlic St. 
I*aul Pioneer. The combination owners of the Pioneer and 



Democrat were Earle S. Goodrich, Joseph R. Brown, and Fred- 
crick Somers of New York. 


Earle S. Goodrich bought the St. Paul Pioneer of Joseph 
R. Brown in March, 1854, and May ist of that year began the 
issue of the Daily Pioneer. In October, 1855, the Pioneer was 
united with the ]Minnesota Democrat under the name of Pioneer 
and Democrat, as above stated. In 1861 Mr. Goodrich became 
the sole owner. He then associated his brothers, Augustus J. 
and Frank Goodrich, with him; and in 1862 he entered the army 
on staff duty with the rank of captain, retaining his interest in 
tlie paper. 

September 5th, 1862, the name of the paper was changed to 
the St. Paul Pioneer. In November, 1865, the Pioneer was sold 
to William F. Davidson, John X. Davidson, and Harlan P. Hall, 
and became Republican in politics. It ran vmder the firm name 
of Davidson and Hall until the following June, Mr. Hall being 
the editor. Mr. Hall then sold his share tu nis partners, and they, 
in turn, sold to the Pioneer Printing Company, composed o^ 
Capt. H. L. Carver, C. W. Nash, and others, and the Pioneer 
again became Democratic. 

In iMarch, 1872, the Pioneer Printing Company sold to Wil- 
liam S. King. E. E. Paulding was editor until his death in 
1873, when A. J. Lamberton was given general charge by Colonel 
King. In 1874 David Blakeley purchased the paper, and on 
April nth, 1875, i-^nited it with the St. Paul Press under the 
present title of Pioneer Press, and the paper became Republican 
in politics. In this arrangement, J. A. Wheelock, editor of the 
Press, was associated with Mr. Blakeley in editorial charge 
of the Pioneer Press, and Frederick DriscoU of the Press be- 
came business manager. 

The St. Paul Press was started by William R. ^^Irashall. 
He bought the St. Paul Times, January isf, 1861, at the time he 
began the St, Paul Press, and merged it in the Press. January 
27th, 1 86 1, he bought tlie ^linnesotian, which in turn was also 
merged in the Press. 

In 1876 the Pioneer Press bought the Minneapolis Tribune 
and the Mail, and for a time the name of the paper was changed 
to the Pioneer Press and Tribune, and the Mail was run as an 
evening paper in ^linneapolis. In 1877 Mr. Blakeley sold out of 




the Pioneer Press, bought the Afail, beoame its editor, ami 
changed its name to the Evening Tribune. It afterward became 
a morning paper and is now the ]\Iinneapch's Tribune. 

The Pioneer Press ran under Wheelock and Driscoll until 
a few years ago, when Mr. Driscoil retired; but ^Ir. Wheelock 
still remains its editor-in-chief. 


Daniel A. Robertson was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, May 
13th, 1813. He was educated as a lawyer and was admitted to 
practice in 1839; but, like Goodhue, he soon abandoned the 
profession for journalism. He was owner and editor of the 
Mt. Vernon (Ohio) Democrat in 1843, ^^d in 1844 became editor 
of the Cincinnati Enquirer. In 1846 he was appointed United 
States marshal in Ohio, served four years, and in 1850 came 
to St. Paul and started the Democrat as already stated. He 
was appointed a colonel in the state militia in 1858; was a member 
of the Minnesota legislature in 1859-60; and afterward was 
elected sheriff of Ramsey county and served four years, 

October 4th, 1866, Colonel Robertson organized the Fruit 
Growers' Association, the parent of the Minnesota Horticul- 
tural Society, and was elected its first president. He was one 
of the first to introduce fruit culture into ^linnesota, and the 
very first to draw attention to sections of Russia similar in cli- 
mate to ours, and to advocate getting fruit scions from such 
localities. From this far-sighted advice some of the best vari- 
eties of apples now cultivated in }>Iinnesota have resulted. 

In politics Colonel Robertson was known as an Independent 
Democrat. He was able, fearless, and quite as virulent in his 
personal journalistic attacks upon political opponents as Good- 
hue or John P. Owens. His article of September 30th, 185 1, 
on Owens is as caustic as anything Goodhue ever wrote. Flt^ 
died in St. Paul, ^March i6th, 1895. 


David Olmsted, who followed Robertson as owner and ed- 
itor of the Democrat, merits more than a passing notice. He 
was born in Fairfax, \'ermont, May 5th, 1822. He came west 
when young and was elected from Clayton County, Iowa, to the 
Iowa Constitutional Convention in the fall of 1845, when in the 
twenty-fourth year of his age. In the fall of 1847 ^^"^ "^^^ 




the Winnebago Indian trade at Fort Atkinson, Iowa; and in 
the summer of 1848, when the Winnebagoes were removed to 
Long Prairie, ^.linnesota, he went with them. He established a 
trading house there and also at St. Paul. 

August 7th, 1849, he was elected a mem.ber of the first Ter- 
ritorial Council of Minnesota, was chosen its president, and was 
also a member of the Council of 1851. In 1853 he purchased the 
Minnesota Democrat and became its editor, as previously stated. 
April 4th, 1854, he was elected the first mayor of St. Paul. In 
1855 he removed to Winona and became involved in the tri- 
angular contest between Rice, Olmsted, and Marshall, for Ter- 
ritorial delegate to Congress, in which he was defeated by Henry 
' M. Rice. Shortly afterward his health began to fail, and he 
died in his old home in Vermont, February 2nd, 1861. Olmsted 
was a Democrat of the old school, an able, upright man, and 
one of the leaders in the formative period of Minnesota. 


The sixth newspaper in order of date, was the Watab Re- 
veille, which purported to be edited by J. W. "Chaskarack," and 
to be published at Watab, Benton County. "Chaskarack" was 
J. W. Vincent, who came here with Cole ^lartin, whom many of 
our pioneer residents will remember. The paper never saw Wa- 
tab. It was printed and circulated by Charles J. Henniss from 
the office of the Chronicle and Register. 

The first issue was dated January 13th, 1851. It was a small, 
four-column sheet, and only three or four numbers seem to be in 
existence. In the first number ''Chaskarack" says : 'Tn politics 
we shall be Democratic or Whig, just as may best serve our 
interests. In this respect we are aware that w^e differ from some 
of our contemporaries in this territory ^vho have been long 
working for the good of the public, a party, the territory, etc. ; 
but we wish it distinctly understood that we enter upon this enter- 
prise with an eye single to the loaves and fishes. We are after 
the public printing, and everything else out of which money 
can be made." 

The editor did not secure the public printing. It seems also 
that in some wav Governor Ramsey had displeased him, for, in 
the list of the eight leaders of the Whig party that he published, 
the name of the governor appears at the foot of the list in 
agate type, nearly the smallest known, and without the dignity of 



even a capital letter, while that of D. B. Loomis, of Stillwater, 
stands at the head of the list in the largest type used on his 
adverising page. 

The chief performance of '''Chaskarack" remembered b^- the 
old settlers is a visit he made to the Legislature one day wlicn 
he was as full as even the customs of those early days permitted. 
In some way he got into the Speaker's chair and undertook to 
run the House. It was rare fun for some of the members, 
but others didn't like it and sent for the soldiers. "Chaskarack," 
hearing of this, scattered a pocketful of =ilver broadcast over 
the floor; saying, ''Here's your pay. The House is adjourned." 

Vincent died in St. Paul in March, 1852. 


One day in April, 1851, Elmer Tyler, a tailor of St. An- 
thony, proposed to Isaac At water, a young attorney, to buy a 
press and start a newspaper if Atwater would edit it. His 
reason for doing this was that the two sides of the river at the 
falls 'would one day have ten thousand people, and he thouglit 
it was time to make St. Anthony better known. Atwater con- 
sidered the idea preposterous, but finally consented to edit the 
paper if Tyler would buy the outfit and run it. That was the 
beginning of the St. Anthony Express, the seventh newspaper 
started in ^linnesota. 

Tyler got everything ready, and Atwater began to write his 
editorials. It was a four-page, seven-column. Whig paper, pub- 
lished weekly, and its first issue was ]\[ay 31st, 1851. The 
Express was the first paper printed in ^Minnesota outside of St. 
Paul. Tyler soon got out beyond his depth. Atwater then had 
to advance monev to keep the venture afloat. Tyler soon quit, 
and Atwater had the paper on his hands. August 2nd, 1851. 
Woodbury and Hollister succeeded him as pubHshers. ^vlay 2Sth, 
1852, George D. Bowman arrived from Pennsylvania, and At- 
water arranged with him to edit the paper so that he could have 
more time to devote to his rapidly increasing law business. 

August 5th, 1855, Atwater resumed c^^ntrol of the Express, 
and the politics of the paper became Democratic. ^larch 29th. 
1856, D. S. B. Johnston became associate editor, his first cti- 
itorial being entitled "Parties and Factions." His nanie does not 
appear in the paper, however, until August 23rd, 1856, his De- 
mocracy being on trial. In August, 1857, D. S. B. Johnston and 



diaries H. Slocum purchased the paper from Judge Atwater, 
iMhnston becoming editor, and Slocum publisher. In the fall of 
i8')0 Slocum retired and Johnston went on alone until the latter 
part of May, 1861. Then the Express carried Johnston under 
the waves that followed the hard times of 1857; and, since he 
"came up," 2^Iinnesota journalism, until he began this series 
of papers, interested him no more. 

The wTecked outfit was sold to Hon. John L. jNIacDonald, of 
Sliakopee, who started the Shakopee Argus with it. Johnston 
lost nearly four years of time that were pretty valuable in those 
liustling days, and Atwater says he is still about three thousand 
dollars short on the venture. 


Hon. Isaac xA.twater was graduated from Yale College, and 
studied law, in which he has taken high rank. He was elected 
associate -juctice of the Supreme Court at the first election held 
after Minnesota became a state, and still resides in Minneapolis, 
universally respected by all who know- ]\\m. Journalism was 
more of a recreation from the onerous exactions of his profession 
than otherwise, and proved about as profitable as Horace Gree- 
ley's farming. He was an easy, fluent, effective writer ; and Ma- 
jor Hotchkiss, doubtless, still feels the sting of many a keen 
f^haft that came across the river from the editorial sanctum in 
St. Anthony. 


George D. Bowman was born in Wil!:esbarre, Pa., March 
nth, 1827; was educated at Bloomsburg (Pa.) Academy; and 
edited the first paper published in Schuylkill county. He came 
to Minnesota May 28th, 1852, and became editor of the St. An- 
tiiony Express, as already stated. He w^as afterward connected 
with the Atlas of Minneapolis. Returning to Pennsylvania in 
«86i, he established the Clinton County Repubhcan at Lock 
Haven, Pa. He was then appointed register of the U. S. Land 
Office at Mesilla, Xew Mexico, and afterward went into the bank- 
ing business at Las Cruses, X. ^I., the firm being George D. 
Bowman and Sons. He died at Las Cruses, April 27th, 1903. 

It has been said that Charles Hoag first suggested the name 
M"inneapolis for the west side of the river at St. Anthony Falls, 
instead of Albion, which the county commissioners of Hennepm 



county had selected, .^n interview with Daniel L. Payne, who 
at that time was working on the St. Anthony Express, was pub- 
lished shortly before the death of Payne a few years ago. In this 
interview Pavne said that durinor a meetins: called at the office 
of Col. John H. Stevens, to see if a better name than Albion 
could be found, Colonel Stevens suggested that ^Minnehaha be 
compounded with the Greek word polls in some way. ' Bow- 
man suggested dropping ''ha" from the combination, making the 
name Minnehapolis. Payne advised dropping the other ''ha," leav- 
ing Mirmepolis. The conference ended by taking "hah" from 
Minnehaha and attaching polls. ^linneapolis was the result. 
The combination of polls with Minnehaha was no doubt first 
suggested by Charles Hoag and seconded by Colonel Stevens ; 
but the exact way in which the combination was made was prob- 
ably as stated by Payne. Bowman advocated the name so per- 
sistently that is was finally adopted. 


I suppose it is due to a correct account of early journalism 
and its editors that I should sketch my own history. I was born 
in South Bainbridge (now i\fton), New York, May 17th, 1832; 
prepared for the Hamilton College sophomore year at the Del- 
aware Literary Institute in Franklin, Delaware county, New 
York; ,but, instead of entering college, began teaching school 
in 1849, and continued teaching in my home county, Chenango, 
until the spring of 1855. 

I came to St. Paul July 20th, 1855, and shortly afterward 
opened a select school on ground subsequently occupied by the 
Minneapolis Exposition building in St. Anthony (now the east 
part of Minneapolis) ; became connected with the St. Anthony 
Express in March, 1856, and was afterward its half owner: 
began the insurance business in 1864, and followed that until 
1874; then organized a farm loan business, which was incor- 
porated in 1885, with $300,000 capital. We loaned about two 
and a half million dollars for eastern investors. In 1898, upon 
our purchase of nearly 477,000 acres of Northern Pacific Rail- 
road lands, the company became a land company exclusivelv. 
under the name of D. S. B. Johnston Land Company. Of this 
I am president, and my two sons, Charles L. Johnston and A. 
D. S. Johnston, are vice president and secretary. 







The Miimesotian was the eighth newspaper begun in the 
Territory. The first issue was dated September 17th, 185 1, 
and was printed in a small building at the corner of Fifth and 
Jackson streets, where the Galena Kouse was afterward built. 
It was owned by a company. John P. Owens, formerly asso- 
ciated with ]Major McLean in running the Chronicle and Reg- 
ister, became the editor, and John C. Terry publisher. It was 
a four-page, seven-column paper, and as intensely Whig as 
the papers of Goodhue and Colonel Robertson were Democratic 
in politics. 

The issue of January loth, 1852, had George W. ^loore as- 
sociated, and the management was Owens and Moore. Owens 
was editor, and ^loore business manager. This paper was first 
published in the little Chronicle office on Fifth street, corner of 
Jackson, but in 1853 ^^'^^ removed to the northeast corner of 
Cedar and Third streets. Here May nth, 1854, the Daily Min- 
nesotian, a seven-column paper, was issued, ^fay 22nd, 1854, 
H. P. Pratt became equally interested with Owens and Moore in 
the publication of the Minnesotian, but Pratt died May 8th, 1855. 
May nth, 1857, the daily enlarged to eight columns; and Oct. 
19th Dr. Thomas Foster purchased the interest of Owens and 
the management became Foster and Moore. January ist, 1858, 
the daily went back to seven columns; and ^lay nth, following, 
it resumed its eight-column edition, November 25th, 1858, J. 
Fletcher Williams, afterward secretary of :he Minnesota Histor- 
ical Society, became local editor of the paper. 

December 17th, 1859, the Minnesotian and Times consol- 
idated, the r^linnesotian and Times Printing Company being pro- 
prietors, and Newson, Moore, Foster and Co., publishers. Eight 
columns was the size of the consolidated paper, and the concern 
moved from the corner of Third and Minnesota streets to the 
old Post Office building on Bridge Square. March 15th, i860, 
the combination dropped to six columns, because, as it says in 
that issue, 31 Democrats and 16 Republicans had agreed to give 
the state printing to Holly and Brown. June 21st, i860, notice of 
dissolution of the conibination Minnesotian and Times was pub- 
lished by the Times, with the statement that the Times would 
thereafter be published and edited by T. M. Newson, the same 
as before the consolidation, and that the Minnesotian joint stock 



company,, with Thomas Foster as agent a:id editor, would also 
continue, George W. Moore having retired. 

The two papers were thus separately run in the two stories 
below the street level in the old Post Office building until Jan- 
uary 1st, 1 86 1, when the material of the Times was purchased 
by William R ^Marshall, and on January 27th the material of 
the Minnesotian. The plants of both were used to start the 
St. Paul Press. The ]\Iinnesotian closes the record of news- 
papers established during 1S51. 


Dr. Foster was born [May i8th, 1818, in Philadelphia, Pa. 
He was educated as a physician, but early abandoned the medical 
for the editorial profession. In 1836, when eighteen years old, he 
became editor of the W'ilkesbarre Advocate, a Whig paper. In 
1837 he returned to Philadelphia, and became news editor of the 
Philadelphia Public Ledger. After leaving that paper, he 
served in various journalistic capacities, until 1848, when he 
became secretary of the Pennsylvania State Committee, of which 
Hon. Alexander Ramsey was chairman. On President Taylor's 
election he was made secretary of the Electoral College, and when 
Mr. Ramsey was appointed the first Territorial Governor of Min- 
nesota, Foster went with him as his private secretary. 

August 2 1st, 185 1, Dr. Foster made a claim to government 
land near Hastings, Minnesota. He was the first man to settle 
there after the treaty was made with the Sioux Indians at Men- 
dota. Afterward, for a time he was physician to the Upper 
Sioux, with location near Sleepv Eye village. October 19th, 
1857, he purchased the interest of John P. Owens in the Minne- 
sotian of St. Paul, and remained its editor until January 27th. 
1861, when the plant was purchased by William R. Marshall and 
combined with the Times, as has been stated, to start the St. Paul 
Press, which is now a part of the Pioneer Press. 

Dr. Foster was a delegate to the convention to frame the 
constitution of the State of ?^Iinnesota, being the only Republi- 
can chosen from Ramsey county. At the second state election, 
when Alexander Ramsey was elected governor. Dr. Foster again 
became his private secretary. During the war, Dr. Foster was 
assistant commissary of subsistence, and was stationed most of 
the time at Indianapolis, Indiana. After the war, he returned to 



Minnesota, and was for a time editor of the Chronicle of Min- 
neapolis He was chairman of the Republican State Central 
Committee of ^linnesota, in 1857. edited the St. Paul Dispatch 
during the campaign of 1868, and shortly afterward established 
the Duluth Minnesotian. 

After remaining in Duluth several years, he entered the 
United States service, and had several important appointments; 
but during President Cleveland's second administration he was 
summarily removed for "offensive partisanship." After Pres- 
ident McKinley was elected, he was reinstated; and finally, 
on September 20th, 1897. he was put in charge of the stationery 
division, under Henry A. Castle, auditor of the Post Office De- 
partment, at \\'ashington. He resigned the position September 
20th, 1902, and died in San Francisco, California, March 31st, 
1903, at the age of eighty-five years. 

T. M. Newson. who owned and edited the St. Paul Times in 
the fifties, and who had considerable to do with Dr. Foster in a 
business way, calls him in his "Pen Pictures" an "editorial ty- 
tant." Newson. however, was a pretty positive character him- 
self. The two couldn't agree, and wdien they came together the 
sparks flew. Governor Ramsey got along easily enough with 
Dr. Foster, and so did everyone else who sav/ the good in him and 
kept clear of his sharp corners. Whatever might be said of him 
personally, he was a man of marked ability, and contributed 
largely to the establishment of the Republican party in ]\Iinne- 


John Fletcher Williams was born September 25th, 1834. 
He was educated in Woodward College and the Ohio Wesleyan 
University; came to St. Paul in 1855; and was reporter and 
city editor of different St. Paul dailies during the following 
twelve years. For a short time he was private secretary of Gov- 
ernor Miller, and from 1864 to 1871 he was a member of the 
Board of Education of St. Paul. From 1871 to 1876 he was 
a member of the United States Centennial Commission from Min- 
nesota. He also held many responsible offices among the Odd 
I-ellows. In 1876 he wrote a history of St. Paul, which in 
chronicling leading events is very useful. In 1867 he was elected 
secretary of the :^linnesota Historical Society, in winch office he 



continued until September nth, 1893, when he resigned on 
account of ill health. He died April 28th, 1895. 

Mr. Williams never .learned the meaning of the little word 
"rest." Work wore him. out at sixty-one, when he ought to have 
lived till eighty. 


The Northwestern Democrat was the ninth ^Minnesota paper, 
and the only one started in 1853. It began its existence in St. 
Anthony. Prescott and Jones were its editors and proprietors. 
The first issue was dated July 13th, 1853. It was a four-page, 
six-column, Democratic weekly. 2^Iay 24th, 1854, it was en- 
larged to seven columns. 

August 2nd, 1854, it was sold to W^ Augustus Hotchkiss, 
who on August 19th moved it to Minneapolis, because, as he 
said, he wanted to print the first newspaper published west of 
the river. July 5th, 1856, he endorsed Fremont and Dayton, the 
Republican candidates for President and Vice President. July 
19th, he changed the name to ^.linnesota Democrat; and on 
August 1st, 1857, he enlarged it to eight columns, and placed the 
motto "Thoroughly Jefifersonian"' at its head. 

October 17th, 1857, is the date of the last number in the 
library of the Historical Society. It shortly afterward passed 
into the hands of Joel B. Bassett, who sold it to W. F. Russell 
of Shakopee. Russell moved to Minneapolis, and changed the 
name to the Gazette. It ran about a year, when the press and 
material went back to Bassett. In 1858 C. H. Pettit and John 
G. Williams bought the outfit and with it started the Minneapolis 
Journal, which in 1859 was absorbed in the Atlas by W. S. King. 


Like others of us in early days, Hotchkiss was considered 
cranky in some of his editorial notions. No one, however, can 
gainsay his honesty and patriotism. He served in the Third 
United States Artillery in the ^Mexican War, and at the out- 
break of the Rebellion he was on hand again. He was mus- 
tered in as a private, October loth, 1861 ; but was commissioned 
captain of the Second Battery of Minnesota Light Artillery 
shortly afterward, and commanded it to the close of the war. 
December 28th, 1866, he became editor of the Preston Repub- 



iican ; and the next year he was its proprietor, and is still run- 
ning it. 


Although the year 1853 brought only one new paper into ex- 
istence, it marked tlie advent into ^linnesota journalism of one of 
the best equipped, all-around politicians that this or. any other 
country has ever seen. A runaway fourteen-year-old drummer 
boy in the Fifth Infantry under Colonel Leavenworth in 1819 at 
Fort Snelling, honorably discharged from military service in 
1825, beginning the life of a frontier Indian trader, first on the 
Minnesota river, about a mile above Fort Snelling, later trading 
at the mouth of the St. Croix, and later still cit Gray Cloud island, 
about fifteen miles below St. Paul, Joseph R. Brown began thus 
a foundation of good influence over the Sioux Indians that lasted 
while he lived. In 1840 he laid out a tov/nsite, which he named 
Dakotah, about a mile above the present site of Stillwater. He 
also bought from a discharged soldier the first claim ever m^ade 
in St. Paul, embracing what is now Kittson's Addition, for which 
he paid $150. Fle afterward laid out the town of Henderson on 
the Minnesota river. 

In 1841 he was elected representative to the Wisconsin Legis- 
lature from Crawford county, which then comprised the whole 
country between the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers. He served 
three terms in the Legislature of Wisconsin Territory, and was a 
leading member of the Stillwater Convention, called August 26th., 
1848, to elect a delegate and to formulate plans for the organiza- 
tion of the Territory of Minnesota. He was secretary of the first 
Legislative Council of the Territory, of which David Olmsted was 
president; was a member in 1851 ; chief clerk in 1853; mem.bcr of 
the Council again in 1855 ; of the House in 1857; and member of 
the Constitutional Convention in 1857. 

He bought the Pioneer in 1853 after the death of Goodhue, 
and became one of the ablest editors it has ever had. Fitted by 
nature for high places in civilized life, he was married to an In- 
dian woman, and was continually going back to the wild life of 
the Indfan tepee: but he bore plainly the stamp of nobility of 
leadership wherever he went. 

In the Sioux Indian War in 1862. Brown was commissioned 
a major, was wounded at the battle of Birch Coulie, and did ex- 



cellent service in bringing the Sioux into subjection and securinc: 
the punishment of the leaders of that severe outbreak. This was 
Joseph Renshaw Brown, a man who in history will always hold 
a foremost place in the work of shaping the foundations of Alin- 
nesota. He was born January 5th, 1805, and died the 9th of 
November, 1870. 


Earle S. Goodrich, the successor of Joseph R. Brown, was 
born in Genesee county, New York, July 27th, 1827. He had 
some editorial experience in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, at the age of 
twenty-one, and then became one of the county officers of Brown 
county. In 1854 he bought the St. Paul Pioneer, as before stated, 
and for nearly ten years stood in the front rank of Western jour- 
nalists. He then went into the army and became aid to General 
McClellan. Resigning his commission, he purchased the St. Paul 
gas works ; and after selling out of that, he engaged in railroad 
construction. He now spends a considerable portion of his time 
in St. Paul. 

He had no use for the coarse battle axe style of newspaper 
editing, so common when he came here. He was a gentleman 
journalist. The bright polished rapier was his style of weapon, 
and his antagonists always found it ground to a keen razor edge. 


James Mills, now editor-in-chief of the Pittsburg Post, be- 
gan his journalistic career on that paper in the early fifties. While 
its local editor, he left the Post in December, 1854, and after a 
lumber wagon trip of ten days from Dubuque, Iowa, he reached 
St. Paul and was im.mediately engaged as associate editor of the 
Minnesota Democrat, then owned and edited by Joseph R. Brown. 
When the Democrat was united with the Pioneer in October, 1855. 
Mr. Mills went with it and became associated with ]\Ir. Goodricl: 
in editine the Pioneer and Democrat. He remained in that capa- 
city until 1863, when he engaged with the (Chicago Times untler 
Wilbur F. Story. Soon afterward he became connected with the 
New York World as its southwest war correspondent in Tennes- 
see and Alabama. After the war, he returned to his old home in 
Pittsburg and became editor of the Pittsburg Post, where he has 
lately celebrated the fiftietli year of his connection with that paper. 



]Vrr. Mills gave abundant proof, while here, of the editorial 
capacity which has since carried him into the front ranks of jour- 
nalism, and he is remembered warmly by all the 3.Iinnesota "old 
timers'" who were so fortunate as to know him. 


Louis E. Fisher was born at Wrentham, Alass., July 15th, 
1822. He learned the printing business in Boston, and from 1849 
to 1853 was foreman and reporter on the Boston Daily Advertis- 
er. He came to St. Paul in April, 1854, and helped to get out the 
first issue of the Daily Pioneer, May ist, 1854. He became fore- 
man of the Pioneer, then city editor, then ne.vs editor. After the 
retirement of James Alills, in 1861, he succeeded him as assistant 
editor, and finally became managing editor, in which position he 
remained until the Pioneer was sold to Davidson and Hall and 
changed from Democratic to Republican in politics. This did not 
suit the Democrat proclivities of Fisher. He then became assistant 
editor of the Daily Press, but the next year, w^hen the Pioneer 
went back to the Democrats, he became itr editor-in-chief, and 
thus remained nearly up to the consolidation of the Pioneer wdth 
the St. Paul Press in 1875. 

After the two papers were united, he remained assistant edi- 
tor to Mr. Wheelock for some time, until advancing years made 
it necessary to take an easier position in another department of 
the paper, where he remained until his death on ]\Iarch 18th, 1888. 

Honest, level-headed, and true as a die in all the relations of 
life, Louis E. Fisher lived ; and only kind thoughts followed him 
across the dark river, when he died. 

THE BOOM OF 1854. 

After the advent of the Northwestern Democrat in 1853, 
came the boom times of 1854, which culminated in the dark finan- 
cial disasters of 1857. Like town lots, the newspapers felt the in- 
ilation. May ist, 1854, the Pioneer, then owned by Earle S. 
Goodrich, boomed into a four-page, six-colnnm daily. The DaiU* 
Democrat of equal size, under David Olmsted, who bought the 
weekly from Robertson in June of 1853, and who had just been 
elected the first mayor "of St. Paul was issued the same day. 
Next came the Daily Minnesotian, a four-page, seven-column pa- 



per, dated May nth, and the Daily Times, a tive-column sheet, 
came a close fourth on May 15th. 

Then began the hopeless struggle of two Democratic and two 
Republican dailies for existence in St. Paul. The next year the 
Pioneer, and Democrat wisely combined. The ^Nlinnesotian and 
Times held out until 1859, when they also tried it, but too late. 
Both furnished food for the vigorous young St. .Paul Press, Wil- 
liam R. ^larshall's paper, which later w^as combined in turn with 
the Pioneer, becoming the present Pioneer Press. 


The Minnesota Times was the tenth newspaper established 
in Minnesota. The Daily Times began a four-page, five-column 
sheet, May 15th, 1854. The Weekly Times followed on the 23rd. 
T. M. Newson was editor, and T. ^1. Newson and Co., consisting 
of Newson, J. B. H. Mitchell, and Alartin J. Clum, were pro- 
prietors and publishers. The paper was Free Soil Independent, 
but afterward became Republican in politics. The Weekly ran 
four pages of seven columns each. It was first printed in a stone 
building on Third street, opposite Franklin street. It was a 
three-story building, and Newson nearly covered the front and 
east side with enormous signs. In 1856 the plant was taken into 
the ^IcClung block on Bridge Square, and there remained until it 
joined the ^linnesotian in 1859, ^vhen it moved over to the old 
Post Office building on the same square. After this combination 
was broken New^son continued the Times until January ist, i86r. 
when it was merged in the St. Paul^Press, and Newson gave the 
venture a good send off in its first issue. 


With T. M. Newson politics meant principle. He was a good 
journalist, an able, efficient writer, and, although he seldom took 
the initiative in the personal journalistic broils of those days, he 
never ran or came out second best when either he or his party was 
forced into them. He was born February 22nd, 1827, in New 
York City, and in 1847 started the first paper published at Birm- 
ingham, Conn. He came to St. Paul in 1853, ^^r about six 
months was associate editor with Joseph R. Brown on the Pioneer. 
In the Daily Times of June 21st, i860, a statement was made by 
Mr. Newson to the effect that a meeting was held in an upper 



room in St. Anthony early in 1855, and that out of it grew the 
RepubHcan party of Minnesota. The Times then began its Re- 
publican career. 

After the material of the Times was purchased by Governor 
Marshall, Newson went into the army as commissary of subsis- 
tence, became assistant quartermaster and was brevetted major 
for meritorious conduct. He, like John P. Owens, refused all 
opportunities to enrich himself at public expense, and came out of 
the service a poor man. Say what we may of the early Minnesota 
editors in other respects, none of them died, as far as I know, with 
marks of the dishonest dollar upon them. Major Newson was ap- 
pointed by President Harrison consul to ^lalaga, Spain, and died 
at his post March 30th, 1893. 


The eleventh newspaper was the Minnesota Republican of St. 
Anthony. It was a four-page, seven-column, Republican sheet, 
owned by a board of about sixty stockholders, of which Dr. V. 
Fell was secretary. Rev. Charles G. Ames was editor, and Daniel 
L. Payne, publisher. The first paper was issued October 5th, 1854. 
January ist, 1857, the paper was enlarged to eight columns, and 
September loth, 1857, it was sold to W. A. Croftut and Edwin 
Clark, and Ames retired, leaving Croffut as editor and Clark as 

January 7th, 1859, Croffut and Clark changed the name to 
Minnesota State News. November 5th, 1859, Croffut sold his in- 
terest to Uriah Thomas. April 7th, i860, the News was reduced 
to seven columns; and finally, early in November, 1863, it was 
sold to William S. King, and was merged in the Atlas of Minne- 


Rev. Charles G. .\mes came to Minnesota as a missionary of 
the Free Will Baptist Church in June, 1851. He built a church 
in MinneapoHs, and became its minister. Restive under the re- 
strictions of its creed, he resigned and becam.e a Unitarian. He 
then entered the political field, and was elected register of deeds 
of Hennepin county for 1857 and 1S58. In 1861 he was appoint- 
ed consul for Porto Rico. In later years he went back to the pul- 
pit, and has been pastor of some of the largest Unitarian churches 


:n[inxesota historical society collections. 

in the East. Ames took an active part in Kansas and Nebraska 
politics as an ultra antislavery advocate. He was a brilliant speak- 
er, an able editor, and a thoroughly conscientious man. 


The St. Paul Financial and Real Estate Advertiser rounded 
out the dozen of }vIinnesota newspapers. It was begun November 
3rd, 1854, by Charles H. Parker, a banker of St; Paul. It was a 
three-column weekly. The disproportion of size and name re- 
minds one of Lincoln's description of the little steamboat that 
had a whistle so large that v/hen it blew the boat had to stop. 
Joseph A. Wheelock, who for many years has been chief editor of 
the Pioneer Press, was associated with Parker as editor of the 
paper. December 27th, 1856, the name was economized to The 
St. Paul Advertiser, and the size increased to a four-page, six- 
column sheet. June 13th, 1857, it was further enlarged to seven 
columns. July i8th, E. S. Barrows became associated as editor, 
and the next week Wheelock became part proprietor. June 19th, 
1858, the paper was sold to the Pioneer and discontinued. 


Joseph A. Wheelock was born in Nova Scotia in 1831 ; came 
to St. Paul in 1850; began his editorial career in the Advertiser 
in 1854, and remained with it until 1858; became associate editor 
of the Pioneer and Democrat in 1859; was Minnesota commis- 
sioner of statistics in i860; helped Governor Marshall to establish 
the St. Paul Press in 1861, and finally became its editor-in-chief: 
was appointed postmaster of St. Paul on May 4th, 1870; was one 
of the five commissioners who selected our beautiful Como Park ; 
and has been for some years president of the St. Paul Park Board, 
where he has done the city inestimable service. 

When I first saw him in 1856, I thought he would be in a 
consumptive's grave in less than a year. That was forty-eiglit 
years ago. He has been almost continually in editorial harness 
since that time, and I don't know but that he will last forty-eigiit 
years longer. Certainly he does not yet need anybody to write his 
editorials for him. 


The thirteenth Minnesota newspaper was the St. Croix Ln- 
ion. It was begun in Stillwater on November 7th, 1854; was a 



four-page, seven-column weekly, Democratic in politics. F. S. 
Cable was its editor, and Cable and Easton its publishers. 

May I2th, 1855, Abbott and Easton succeeded Cable and 
Easton, M. H. Abbott being -editor and publisher. The new edi- 
tor in his first article said he was in favor of the annexation of 
Cuba and the Sandwich Islands, as it would materially aid in 
building up commercial interests on our Pacific shores. I quote 
this to show what a broad latitude of comprehension some of our 
early journalists possessed. Abbott, however, was the right man 
in the right place in the pioneer days of our territory. Nearly ev- 
ery issue of his paper had crisp editorials on the advantages pos- 
sessed by Minnesota. 1 

He published two stories of the harvest of 1854 that are 
worth preserving. 3^Iajor Furber of Cottage Grove threshed 863 
bushels of wheat raised on twenty-five acres of sod plowing, and 
had a market on his farm at $1.30 a bushel. This first crop from 
wild land paid him forty-five dollars an acre. T. M. FuUerton 
planted a squash seed that year which grew a vine until October 
4th, before the frost killed it. It bore six squashes. They weighed 
226 pounds. The largest branch of the vine was 39 feet long and 
all the branches aggregated 762 feet in length. 

The Union went under at some time in 1856. The exact date 
I have not been able to find. 


The fourteenth newspaper started in the state (or the 
eighteenth, if we include the four St. Paul dailies) was the Wino- 
fia Argus. The first number of the Argus was printed December 
nth, 1854. It was a four-page, six-column sheet, published bv 
Ashley Jones and Co., and edited by Ashley Jones and Sam Whit- 
ing. It was Democratic in politics. June 4th, 1857, Whiting re- 
tired and H. B. Cozzens took his place. July 2nd, Cozzens and 
Waldo took the lead, with Cozzens as editor. September 3rd, 
1857, is the last of it in the Historical Society Library. It died 
about that time, and the Winona Times was started soon after 
with its material. 


William Ashley Jones came to Winona as Deputy United 
States Surveyor. While surveying lands in the summer of 1853, 
he visited Wabasha prairie, where the city of Winona now stands, 




ar.d acquired an interest in the Smith and Johnson town plat and 
also in the Stevens claim, now Stevens' Addition. In company 
with Charles H. Berry and E. S. Smith, he established the first 
banking office in Winona in June, 1853. ^^r. Jones also opened a 
large farni near Winona, now known as the Lamberton farm. He 
started the Winona Argus December nth, 1854, as above stated, 
and v.-as its editor until July 4th, 1857. About 1863 he removed 
to Dubuque, and there I lost sight of him. 


Captain Sam Whiting was a restless, erratic character. He 
was a native of Boston. In 1849 went to Panama, and was edi- 
tor of the first newspaper printed there. He was in the Arctic 
expedition in search of Dr. Kane, and was, also, a captain of one 
of the famous passenger steamers between Xew York and Liver- 
pool. In 1854 he became one of the first editors of the Winona 
Argus. He was the first editor of the Winona Republican in 1855. 
and in 1858 was one of the editors of the Times, also published 
at Winona. 

Afterward he was captain of the steamer ^^larion, wdiich was 
seized by the Southern Confederacy before Fort Sumter was cap- 
tured. Steaming out of Charleston he dipped his colors to the 
Stars and Stripes when opposite Fort Sumter. The Charleston 
authorities took him to task for it. Sam replied, "I was born 
under the Stars and Stripes, have always sailed under them, and 
by the blessing of God I will die under them." Dying under them 
proved true, but in a way that Captain Sam little thought at that 
time. When he became too old for further wandering, he en- 
tered the Sailor's Snug Flarbor, at New Brighton, on Staten 
Island, N. Y., and July 30th, 1882, he was found dead in bed. 
having committed suicide by cutting his throat. 

SUMMARY, 1849 TO 1 854. 

I have given in this paper the names of fourteen weekly and 
four daily papers, all 1 have been able to find that were started m 
Minnesota prior to 1855. ih<ise the Pioneer, Chronicle, and 
Register, three in number, appeared in 1849. The Dakota Friend 
and Minnesota Democrat appeared in 1850; the Watab Reveille, 
the St. Anthony Express, and the Minnesotian, came in 1851; 
and the Northwestern Democrat in 1853, no paper having been 
started ni 1852. The year 1854 saw the beginning of the Rcpub- 



lican in St. Anthony; the St. Paul Thnes and the St. Paul Ad- 
vertiser ; the St. Croix Union, and Winona Argus ; and the four 
dailies of the Pioneer, the Minnesotian, the Democrat, and the 
Times. Thus the total of new papers in 1854 was nine, counting" 
the dailies. 

Only the Pioneer Press, begun as the ^linnesota Pioneer, sur- 
vives. Neither the parties nor populations of those times called 
for any such lavish waste of editorial talent. The struggles of 
rival candidates for office, the boom building of a new territory, 
and the hustle of bright nien to get ahead, were the causes of it. 
All the fierce intensities of personal journalism of course resulted. 
In other border towns of those early days, some of our editors 
would have been shot too full of holes for decent intemient. Here, 
however, save the attack of Cooper on Goodhue, and Dodd on 
Owens, there were no brutal personal affrays. There was reason 
for this. Our editors, as a rule, were well educated, some of them 
college graduates. Such men are not of the wild beast type, of 
which criminals are made. The highest and best of life, set in 
rough environment, the gathering of clans around their chieftains, 
the devotion of men to their leaders, the bond that holds friend to 
friend, and, beyond all, the desire to make this the noble state it 
has since become, now shine like links of gold through the per- 
sonal journalism of the early tifties. 

The editors of tliose years who are yet alive are Wheelock, 
the old-time but still virile chief editor of the Pioneer Press, 
whose keen lash has often proved him the worthy successor of 
Goodhue; Goodrich, vvdio could barb an editorial arrow and send 
it home fatallv, and yet so clean-shafted that the wound in his 
adversary would not bleed ; Yale-cultured Atwater, able alike in 
the editorial chair and forum ; the pyrotechnic Charles G. Ames, 
to whom politics meant principle; and the patriotic ^M'ajor Hotch- 
kiss, supporting Fremont for the presidency, and placating his 
''Democratic Republican" conscience by flying "Thoroughly Jef- 
fersonian" at his masthead. 

Among those who have passed over the great divide are Good- 
luie, the fearless hater and exposer of shams ; Joseph R. Brown, 
his successor, born with wildness in his blood, but so superblv 
gifted that whether in wigwam or legislative hall lie was always 
tlic leader of men. His political opponents called him by no 
liarsher term than '']ot, the Juggler," while he was only plain, 




familiar ''J^^'^ Brown" to those who knew him best. Many a man 
still living remembers the hearty grasp of hand and fervent "God 
bless you," with which he greeted those who met and parted with 

Then there was the roUicking-gaited, jovial John P. Owens, 
the "Rough and Ready" of the editorial fraternity of the fifties; 
his associate, the sedate and self-balanced i^IcLean ; and Col. D. 
A. Robertson, the hero of many a rough and tumble political 
struggle. There were also David Olmsted, the talented first may- 
or of St. Paul, quiet, determined, and holding his friends with 
hooks of steel; T. M. Newson, the natty, good-natured editor of 
the Times, and author of Pen Pictures of "Old Timers;" and 
the erratic Sam Whiting, gifted, but closing his life so sadly by 
suicide. \ 

None of these early editors became rich from journalistic 
gains. They found the country new, privations many, difficulties 
everywhere hedging them about ; and yet no land in its pioneer 
days was ever blessed with a more loyal or royal set of names at 
the head of its newspapers. 

Second Paper, 1855. 

During 1855 the disorganized Whigs began to rally their 
broken ranks under the banners of the new RepubHcan party, and 
Minnesota journalism gradually began to broaden to the discus- 
sion of national policies. The whiskey-and-tobacco, rough-and- 
ready, fight-today-and-good-fellow-tomorrow methods, of wdiich 
early journalism was largely the exponent, were going down 
among the shadows of the past. The attritions of masses of 
people moving to new homes were rapidly making old settler 
memories of the conflicts of the clans. ^Minnesota had come to 
a time of better things. 

Five weekly and four daily newspapers appeared in 1854, as 
has previously been stated. Nine weeklies and one daily, the St. 
Paul Press, appeared in 1855. St. Paul had five daily papers in 
that year to supply a population of 4,716 people, whereas in 1904, 
\vith a population of nearly or quite 200,000, it has but four. The 



five dailies of 1855 were the extravagant heritage of a period when 
each pohtical aspirant felt compelled to send newspaper trumpe- 
ters before him at whatever cost. 

Of these superfluous St. Paul dailies death soon harvested 
the St. Paul Press. The Minnesotian and Times, tattered and 
torn by the financial cyclone of 1857, went down at the close of 
i860. The St. Paul Pioneer, combining with the Democrat, es- 
caped the storm. 

ST. Peter's courier. 

St. Peter's Courier was the name of the fifteenth newspaper 
started in the Territory. It was a four-page, six-column, Demo- 
cratic weekly, published at St. Peter, Nicollet county, and owned 
by Governor W. A. Gorman, president of the St. Peter Company. 
The first issue was January 4th, 1855. J- Stoever, now de- 
ceased, was editor and publisher. Being out of line with the poli- 
tics of the paper, he retired, and on July 12th Henry B. Smyth 
took his place. Vol. 2, No. i, of the paper was announced when 
only forty-one weekly publications had been made. Smyth then 
delivered a florid, fine-print valedictory of a column, and A. J. 
Morgan, familiarly known as Jack ]\Iorgan, saluted with another 
column. In the same issue the name was changed to the St. 
Peter Weekly Courier. Its motto was "No North, No South, No 
East, No West.'' Somewhere between April 26th and May 21st, 
1856, the name of ^lorgan was dropped from the head of its edi- 
torial columns without explanation, and its motto w^as changed 
by an editorial wit of the time to "No North, no South, no East, 
no West, and no Editor." 

December loth, 1856, the paper was enlarged to seven col- 
umns, but it was not until June 19th, 1857, that another editor, 
Everitt O. Foss, succeeded Morgan. I am informed, however, 
that Thomas M. Perry, formerly of Detroit, Michigan, but now 
connected with the St. Peter Herald, had control a part of the 
time while no name appeared at the head of the editorial columns 
of the Courier. January ist, 1858, is the last of the paper in the 
liistorical Library, though it continued to run until July, 1858. 
I' OSS, its last editor, came from Dover, N. H., and, according to 
the best information I can get, he returned to that place, and is 
now connected with a paper published there. The Courier was 
the first newspaper printed in the Minnesota Valley. 



Showing the prodigal use of money on newspapers hurried 
into new towns at that early day, the St. Paul Democrat of Jan- 
uary loth, 1855, commented thus : ''A newspaper named St. 
Peter's Courier came yesterday from the town of St. Peter, Nicol- 
let county. Truly no end of wonders. Here's a town which six 
months ago was not a town or hardly anything else, which now 
boasts a newspaper, respectable as to size and appearance.'' And 
the Democrat might have enlarged its "no end of wonders," at 
the same date, by saying that St. Paul was supplying its 4,716 
people with four daily new^spapers. 


John C. Stoever, the first editor of the St. Peter's Courier, 
was born in Germantown, Pa., January 5th, 1824. He learned the 
printer's trade in the office of the Germantown Telegraph. In 
1847 he moved to Chicopee, Mass., and was editor and publisher 
of the Chicopee Telegraph, a Whig paper, seven years. In 1854 
he came to St. Peter, ]\Iinn., and took charge of the St. Peter's 
Courier; but in 1855 moved to Henderson, Sibley county, and 
in 1856 published the Henderson Democrat, but did not edit it. 

Mr. Stoever was a member of the Minnesota Legislature 
from Sibley county early in 1869, and in the fall was appointed 
United States collector of customs at Pembina, and held the of- 
fice six years. In early life Mr. Stoever vvas a Whig, and when 
that party went under he becam.e a Republican; and though he 
was more or less connected with Democratic papers of early times 
in ^Minnesota, it was as publisher, and not as editor. 


Jack ^lorgan. as he was called by his associates, was short- 
statured, large-headed, and self-important, as most men of that 
build are apt to be. He stood well in the Democratic party, of 
which he was a valuable and voluble member. He was a printer 
by trade, a brother of Gen. George W. Morgan, who was promm- 
ent in the }^Iexican War ; and his mother was a sister of one of 
the secretaries of the United States Treasury. 

He came from Ohio to ^linnesota in 1852; worked on the 
St. Anthony Express a while; was elected chief clerk of the House 
in the Territorial Legislature of 1854; became editor of the St. 
Peter Courier ; was secretary of the Council in the Legislature of 
1855 ; and assisted two of the St. Paul dailies editorially, while 


not engaged in his legislative duties. Morgan died at the ^Mer- 
chant's Hotel, St. Paul, August 27th, 1856, when only twenty- 
eight years old. Jack Morgan had his faults, but they harmed no 
one but himself. No one could ever say that he was delinquent in 
the discharge of duty. 


The Frontierman was the sixteenth newspaper started in 
Minnesota. It was a four-page, six-column, Democratic weekly, 
owned and edited by Jeremiah Russell. The date of its first issue 
was early in ]vlay, 1855. The exact day I have been unable to 
find. Russell was register, and William Henry Wood receiver, 
of the United States Land Office at Sauk Rapids, Benton county, 
where the Frontierman was published. Between them they man- 
aged to keep the paper going in a desultory way, it being some- 
times suspended weeks at a time, and afterward resumed with 
surprising indifference to regular methods. Finally at Vol. 3, No. 
34, November 24th, 1S59, ^ series of half sheets were issued, to 
which Russell referred, and tlien stated that he had sold the 
Frontierman plant to \\'illiam H. Wood. Wood terminated the 
paper, and on January 26th, i860, began another at Sauk Rapids, 
called the New Era, using the material sold to him by Russell. 


Jeremiah Russell was born at Eaton, ]^Iadison county, N. Y., 
February 2nd, 1809. He set type when young in the office of the 
Fredonia Gazette, the first paper printed in Chautauqua county. 
New York. He came to Fort Snelling in 1837, and in 1848 was 
agent for Borup and Oakes of St. Paul, at their Indian trading 
post in Crov>- A\'ing, ^lorrison county. In 1854 he helped lay 
out the town of Sauk Rapids. Benton county : was register of the 
United States land office of that district ; treasurer of Benton coun- 
ty several years; county auditor one year; and was a member of 
the first Territorial Legislature in 1849. He Hved in Sauk Rapids 
until his death, which occurred June 8th, 1885. Integrity was the 
distinguishing trait of Mr. Russell's character. 


Flenry P. Pratt, part proprietor with Owens and Moore, and 
one of the editors, of the Minnesotian of St. Paul, died M^y 8th, 
1855, as has been stated in my record of that paper. He was 




born in Farmington, Maine, in May, 1812, and learned the print- 
er's trade in the office of the Kennebec Journal at Augusta. He 
afterward became connected with the Somerset Journal at Nor- 
ridgewock, and finally moved the establishment to Skowhegan and 
changed its name to the People's Press. He conducted this paper 
eight years and then sold out, and in the spring of 1854 came to 
St. Paul. In ]vlay of that year he became connected with the ]\Iin- 
nesotian, and soon afterward bought an interest in the paper and 
became one of its editors. Integrity of character, thorough up- 
rightness in all his relations with men, marked the course of Mr. 
Pratt through life. 


The Sentinel was the seventeenth newspaper established in 
Minnesota. At the beginning it was a four-page, six-column, In- 
dependent sheet. The first issue was dated about July 20th, 1855, 
and was printed at Red Wing, Goodhue county. Its editor was 
William Colvill, Jr. and its publishers Dan S. ^lerritt and James 
C. Hutchins. Colvill having been elected secretary of the Territor- 
ial Council of 1856, W. W. Phelps, then register of the United 
States Land Office at Red Wing, volunteered to help him out as 
temporary editor. It seems that neither could give the paper the 
time it needed, and on May 15th, 1856, the Pioneer and Democrat 
announced that the editor of the Sentinel and its proprietors had 
that week printed their valedictory. The press and material were 
then sold to xA.lexis Bailly, one of the proprietors of the town of 
Hastings, Dakota county, and were used to start the Dakot.** 
Weekly Journal. The History of Goodhue County says it was 
moved to that village, and 3,Ierritt and Hutchins opened the Kelly 
House in Red Wing and went into the hotel business. 

The town of Red Wing having been thus left without a news- 
paper, Nehemiah V. and Cornelius Bennett brought in anothe'" 
printing outfit, and about July ist, 1856, the first number of the 
Mmnesota Gazette was issued. The history of this paper will be 
given when I come to the papers of 1856. That of Red Wing 
Sentinel No. 2, which followed the demise of the Gazette, will be 
given in the history of the papers of 1857. 


William Colvill, Jr., was born at Forestville, Chautauqua 
county, N. V.. April 5th, 1830. He studied law ; was admitted to 



the bar in April, 1851 ; came to Red Wing, Minnesota, in April, 
1854; became editor of the Red Wing Sentinel in July, 1855 ; and 
was elected secretary of the ]),Iinnesota Territorial Council in 
1856. After the failure of Red Wing Sentinel, No. i, in May, 
1856, he practiced law until the Minnesota Gazette, the successor 
oi the Sentinel, died in turn early in 1857. Then Dan S. Merritt, 
one of the fonner owners of Sentinel, No. i, bought' the Gazette 
outfit, sold half to Colvill, and they started the Red Wing Sentin- 
el, No. 2, dating back the first number so as to bridge over from 
Sentinel, No. i, the same as though all the issues of the Gazette 
had betn Sentinels. In February, i860, Colvill sold his interest to 
W. W. Phelps, because he saw trouble ahead in the Charleston 

As soon as the war began, Colvill raised the Goodhue County 
Volunteers, was elected their captain, and on April 28th, 1861, 
was mustered in. He became colonel of the regiment ; led it 
through the terrible crisis that turned the tide of battle at bloody 
Gettysburg; and, disabled by his woimds, was mustered out of 
service in ^lay, 1864. He was a member of the ^linnesota Legis- 
lature in 1865. After adjournment he was mustered into the 
United States service again ; w-as made colonel of the First Min- 
nesota Artillery ; and was stationed at Chattanooga until July, 

1865. He was hrevetted brigadier general, and was mustered 
cut finally the succeeding July. 

He was attorney general of Minnesota from January 8th, 

1866, to January loth, 1868: and was elected to the Legislature 
of 1878 on the Democratic ticket from one of the strongest Re- 
publican counties in the state. 

Crippled by wounds received in battle, the old veteran still 
lives, honored for patriotism, as few have ever been honored in 


According to the History of Houston County, the Southern 
Minnesota Herald, of Brownsville in that county, was established 
June 23rd, .1855. \^ol. I, No. 45, June 14th, 1856, is the first 
issue that I can definitely trace. If printed continuously, No. I 
would have been August nth. 1855. That it was so printed is 
shown by the fact that Vol. I, No. 52, now in the library, is dated 
August 2nd, 1856. I shall assume therefore that August nth 
was the beginning of the Herald. William Frazier Ross was ed- 



itor and publisher of the paper, which was the eighteenth in the 
Territory. It was the four-page, six-column sheet, common in 
those days, and professed to be independent in politics. At first 
it supported Henry M. Rice for delegate to Congress, but turned 
to David Olmsted during the canvass. The proprietors of the pa- 
per were J. H. ]\IcKcnny, register of the United States Land Of- 
fice ; J., R. Bennett, receiver; Charles Brown, Job Brown, and E. 
A. Goodell, who were some of the owners of the town of Browns- 

August 2nd, 1856, ]\Iark Percival joined Ross, and the firm 
became Ross and Percival. September 20th, 1856, Charles Brown 
became editor of the paper, and it supported the Republican 
party for a time. Xovember 8th, Ross retired and the firm name 
was made Brown and Percival. May 30th, 1857, Brown dis- 
solved his connection with the Republican party, because in his 
opinion it could not supply the place of the old Whig party, to 
which he had formerly belonged. Finally, wearying of indepen- 
dence, he went over in September. 1857, to the party he had been 
fighting all his life, hoisted the Democratic flag, placed its 
ticket at the head of his editorial columns, and got into a quarrel 
, with Percival, who retired, leaving Brov/n full swing. 

March 5th, 1859, this paper seems to have been moved to a 
place called Fairy Rock, eleven miles east of Caledonia, Houston 
county; and there, in the latter part of June, 1859, it died. These 
were its last words : "The little craft has furled its colors, lashed 
fast its rudder, thrown out all her canvas and wind-catchers for a 
lonely cruise up dreary Salt River. We have fought hard for the 
Democracy, but the pork and beans failed, and we caved." To 
this the Afantorville Express of July 2nd, 1859, unfeelingly re- 
sponded, 'Tt is hard to make an empty bag stand upright." 


Charles Brown was born in Ontario county. New York, in 
1826, and came to Wildcat bluff, now Brownsville, with his 
brother Job Brown, in 1848, when that country was new and 
wild. He helped lay out the town of Brownsville, and became 
editor and finally owner of the Flerald, as I have stated. He was 
a man helpful to those who needed assistance, and public spirited 
in all that concerned the town in which he lived. He finally be- 
came insane, and died in the asylum at St. Peter, June 26th, 1873. 




The Winona Express was the nineteenth paper issued in 
Minnesota. It was printed in AVinona, and was an independent 
four-page, seven-column weekly. Henry D. Huff, a prominent 
resident and one of the original owners of Winona, was its pro- 
prietor; and William Creek, a bright young writer," was its editor. 
The first issue was dated August 14th, 1855. On September 
J 3th, Creek, dissatisfied with, the political trend that Huff, its 
owner, sought to give the paper, jumped the traces and published 
this curt valedictory, 'T this day retire from all further connec- 
tion with the Winona Weekly Express." 

That was all, but it was enough. W^ilson C. Huff, son of 
Henry D., was immediately made editor. The paper supported 
David Olmsted for delegate to Congress, in opposition to Henry 
M. Rice and William. R. ^Marshall ; and when Rice was elected, 
the columns of the Express were dressed in mourning, the first 
and last time known to ^linnesota journalism when blighted pol- 
itical hopes were thus somberly buried. Early in November the 
press and printing materials of the Express were sold to Walter 
G. Dye and Co., and on November 20th, 1S55, were used to start 
the Winona Republican. 

Wilson C. Hufif died shortly after the Express failed. Henrv 
D. Hufif died in Chicago a few }'ears ago, and was buried in Wi- 
nona. William Creek, the first editor of the Express, left Winona 
during the latter part of November, 1855; nothing, so far as 
I know, has been heard of him since. 


The St. Paul Free Press was the twentieth weekly, and the 
fifth daily, published in the Territory of ^Minnesota. It was a 
four-page, six-column sheet, devoted to fostering the political 
ambition of Stephen A. Douglas nationally and of Willis A. Gor- 
man in Minnesota. It began August 30th, 1855. A. C. Smith, 
afterwards register of the United States Land Office at Minnea- 
polis, was its editor ; and S. J. Albright and Co. were its publish- 
ers. December 5th, after the defeat of Olmsted, it contracted the 
length and width of its columns, denoting the beginning of the 
end of its career. The Pioneer and Democrat of ^lay 22nd, 
1856, announced its permanent suspension. 




I never think of A. C. Smith but there rises before me a tall, 
gaunt, awkward-looking, cavern-eyed, behind a pair of very 
large gold spectacles. His description of himself was ''six feet 
high when I straighten up, which I rarely do, round shouldered, 
gaunt, wiry, with a face locking like a bunch of old gun locks." 

He was born in Orange county, Vermont, February I4tli, 
1814; studied law in that state, and was admitted to practice be- 
fore the Supreme Court at Washington, D. C, Feb. 14th, 1838. 
In the spring of 1839 he removed to M't. Clemens, ^^lichigan, and 
published the ]^Iacomb County Gazette four years ; and from 
June, 1 85 1, until he came to Minnesota, he published a ^Masonic 
journal named ''The Ancient Landmark." He was a member 
of the ^[ichigan State Senate in 1845 1846, and was a dis- 
trict judge in }ylichigan three years, his term expiring in 1854. 
He revived the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order in Michigan, 
and was its Grand Secretary from 1841 to 1844, and again in 

In 1855 ^Ir. Smith moved to St. Paul, and became the editor 
of the Free Press, v.-hich ran its active but brief career as I have 
stated. He was appointed register of the United States Land 
Office at -Minneapolis February 4tn, 1857, and w^ent ^vith it to 
Forest City, Sleeker county, w-hen it was moved there March 22d, 
1858, and continued to act as register until succeeded by D. Mus- 
sey, October 2d, 1S5S. When Litchfield began to grow he op- 
ened a law office there and remained until his death, September 
20th, 18S0. He was a very pronounced Democrat of the old 
school, and of much more than ordinary ability. As a land officer, 
the only complaint I ever heard against him was that he was par- 
tial to the poor. * 


The first issue of the Shakopee Independent was dated Nov. 
3rd, 1855, and it was the twenty-first new^spaper started in Min- 
nesota. It was four-page, six-column, and independent, at the 
outset, as usual. Allen Green w^as editor and pubHsher, and the 
place of publication was Shakopee, Scott county. January 9th, 
1856, IMartin Phillips and E. W. Thrift became editors and pub- 
lishers. August 20th, 1856, the paper was dressed in mourning 
for the death of Martin Phillips. George H. Phillips, who died 



in Washington, D. C, ^larch 20th, 1886, succeeded him, and 
the paper went to the Democracy. 

September 24th 1856, the name of the paper was changed to 
The Valley Herald. January 14th, 1857, Thomas B. Hunt be- 
came assistant editor, but in two months PhilHps was alone again. 
The editorials of the paper must have been somewhat otfensive 
to some of the Republicans of the day, for the Falls Evening 
News, published at St, Anthony, said the Herald was published 
by B. Ruffian and edited mostly by R. G. Whiskey. 

August 26th, 1857, the paper became the Weekly Valley 
Herald. October 28th, 1857, is the date of the last number in 
the Historical Library. It seems that it was afterward tempora- 
rily suspended, for I find that the Belle Plaine Inquirer of Sep- 
tember 23rd, 1858, announced its reappearance with Phillips and 
Marsh as editors and proprietors. It must have been submerged 
permanently soon afterward, for I find no place where it is men- 
tioned since that date.' 


Martin Phillips died in Shakopee, August 19th, 1856, and 
the Shakopee Independent, of which he was the editor, thus al- 
luded to it in its issue of the 20th: "Martin Phillips is dead. 
Calmly and quietly, without a feeling of pain and surrounded by 
those who were dear to him in life, he yielded up his soul to the 
God who made it." 

Phillips was less than twenty-one years of age at the time 
of his death, being the youngest editor in Minnesota. Honorable 
and honest in his transactions with mankind, sociable and with a 
warm heart, and endowed with abilities far beyond his years, he 
lived respected by all, and died without an enemy. 


A company of eighteen Republicans of Winona purchased 
the printing plant of the discontinued Winona Express, and on 
November 20th, 1855, issued the first number of the Winona Re- 
publican. It was the twenty-second newspaper printed in Minne- 
^^ota. It was a four-page, seven-column sheet ; Captain Sam 
\\ biting, to whom I have referred in my record of the Winona 
Argus, was its editor, and Walter G. Dye its publisher. W'hiting 
edited eighteen numbers and then retired. A. P. Foster joined 
Dye, temporarily, and the paper went on under King, Foster, 



Dye and Co., publishers. June 19th, 1856, Daniel Sinclair pur- 
chased Foster's interest and became editor of the paper. In the 
fall Dye sold his half interest to four gentlemen of Winona, who 
in turn sold to W. C. Dodge, who is at present a patent attorney in 
Washington, D. C. February 3rd, 1857, Dodge resold to Dye, 
and the firm became D. Sinclair and Co. 

May 19th. 1857, D. Sinclair and Co. disappeared from the 
head of its columns. April 2nd, 1864, Sheldon C. Cary purchased 
the interest belonging to Dye and continued with the paper until 
his death, by drowning, on the night of December 28th, 1864, by 
the breaking of the ice while he was on the river with a sleigh- 
ing party. 

November I9di, 1859, the Republicans started a small, three- 
column daily, called The Review, but December 19th, 1859, 
was changed to the Winona Daily Republican and enlarged to 
five columns. 

July 1st, 1865. D\e again became a joint partner with Sin- 
clair, and on November 25th, 1866, John Dobbs purchased a tliird 
interest in the paper. On and off, Mr. Dye was publisher of the 
Republican about twenty-five years ; and Mr. Sinclair was its edi- 
tor until it consolidated with the Winona Herald, February i8th, 
1901. It is still a highly successful newspaper, and enjoys the 
distinction of being the oldest Republican journal in ^linnesota. 
A. P. Foster died about 1886; and Walter G. Dye, I believe, in 


Daniel Sinclair was born in Thurso, Scotland, January 12th, 
1833. came to Winona in the spring of 1856, purchased 

a half interest in the Winona Republican, and, until it united 
with the Herald, was its editor-in-chief. Fie was made postmast- 
er of Winona 'M'dy i6th, 1869, in Grant's administration, and 
filled the office continuously until July ist, 1885. The first of 
July, 1890, he was re-appointed. Mr. Sinclair is still living in 
Winona, and has acted a prominent part in shaping the interests 
of southern Minnesota. 


F. A. Rcnz. a prominent German Republican of St. Paul, 
gives me the following facts about the beginnings of the ]\linne- 



sota Deutsche Zeitung. the twenty-third newspaper in regular or- 
der in Minnesota : 

Seven Pemocrats, then prominent in the party, advanced one 
hundred dollars each to help Friedrich Orthwein start the Zeit- 
ung. The St. Paul ^linnesotian of November 20th, 1855, says 
it was started as an independent Democratic paper, and that the 
first number was printed on Monday. November 19th, 1855, with 
F. Orthwein, editor and publisher. 

Mr. Renz tells me that soon after the Zeitung was started, 
(Orthwein oftered to sell out to the Republicans, if thev would 
take him and his paper over to that party. Accordingly, Mr. 
Renz and Dominik Troyer advanced the money to repay the 
Democrats, and Orthwein went with his paper to the Republicans. 
In May the paper was enlarged, preparatory to entering the pres- 
idential campaign ; and the ^.linnesotian of August 9th, 1856, ad- 
vertised Orthwein of the -Zeitung to address the German Repub- 
licans of St. Anthony. 

Number 28 of \'olume 2 is the earliest issue of the Zeitung 
in the Historical librarv, dated August ist 1857. This would 
make Vol. I, No. i, for January 26th, 1856, which is probably 
the date of the Republican beginning of the Zeitung. 

Orthwein failed to keep his agreement with the Republicans, 
and was dispossessed. This resulted in the temporary suspension 
of the Zeitung. It went into the hands of C. D. Gilfillan, chair- 
man of the Republican Central Committee ; but the St. Paul Min- 
nesotian of January 20th, 1857, annoimced its reappearance, still 
under Republican control. 

Orthwein went back to the Democrats, and the November 
20th, 1856, issue of the Pioneer and Democrat, while announcing 
the suspension of the Zeitung. said, 'Tn a fev.- weeks the National 
Demokrat. a German Democratic newspaper, will be issued." It 
was understood that the Demokrat was to be run by Orthwein. 
It did not start, however, until the spring of 1857, as the first 
number of the National Demokrat in the Historical Library is 
No. 40 of Vol. I, dated starch 6th, 1858. This would make No. 
I. Vol. I, of the Demokrat dare June 6th, 1857. 

The first editor of the Zeitung, under the new management, 
was Charles Carree. November 21st, 1857, seems, however, to be 
the last the files tell of Carreers connection with the Zeitung. The 



files then miss to February 20th, 1858, when Herrmann Du Bris- 
son became the editor. May 22nd, 1858, the name of Du Brisscn 
drops out ; and no editor takes his place in the files, though I un- 
derstand that Charles Passavant had charge about that time. 

About ^lay ist, 1858, the Zeitung passed into the hands of 
Samuel Ludvigh, who had been the editor of a quarterly 
published in Baltimore. His admirers welcomed him with a band 
and torchlight procession on his arrival in St. Paul. Orthwein, 
who had then returned from Chaska, and was filling out the un- 
expired subscription list of the Thalboten, an unsuccessful Carver 
County journalistic enterprise, with his St. Paul Demokrat, took 
occasion to make some slurring remarks about the torchlight pro- 
ceedings. For this he was assaulted by Leopold Vonk, a friend 
of Ludvigh, who was brought into court and fined fifty dollars 
and costs before Judge Simons. 

When Ludvigh took control of the Zeitung, the word 
Deutsche was dropped from the title and the word Staats took 
its -place. In 1862 Ludvigh went out and the Staats Zeitung was 
taken in hand successively by Christian Exel, Carl Renter, and 
Andrew R. Kiefer. Then Albert WolflF, who had been connect- 
ed editorially more or less with the Zeitung from the time when 
it became a Republican paper, made an alliance with Theodore 
Sander, and they bought the paper; but Sander, later on, became 
the sole proprietor. 

Under Sander the Zeitung was consolidated in 1877 with 
the Minnesota \'olksblatt. another German weekly which had 
started under Philip Rohr on November 19th, 1861, and which 
was owned by Carl H. Lienau at the date of consolidation. The 
combined paper v.-as then called the Volkszeitung, which is its 
name today. A stock company was formed at the time of consol- 
idation, with C. H. Lienau as president, Albert Wolfl:, editor, and 
Theodore Sander, manager. It ran after this, wdth slight business 
changes, until December 31st, 1897, when F. W. Bergmeier ac- 
quired the paper and still runs it. 

The Zeitung was the first German newspaper in the Territory ; 
and it is now the oldest German paper in 2vIinnesota. I have not 
found anyone who can tell what finally became of Frederick 
Orthwein, the man who started it. 




Albert Wolff was the editor of the Deutsche Zeitunof during- 
the mid-period of its existence and was a writer for its columns 
during much of the remaining time up to his death a few years 
ago. He was born in Brunswick, Germany, Septem.ber 26th. 
1825 ; was well educated, but, in 1849, ^vhile yet a student, was 
sentenced to death for revolutionary acts. He was pardoned,, 
however, in 1852, and shortly after came to the United States. 
In November, 1852, he arrived in St. Paul, remained about two 
years in the employ of F. A. Renz of this city, and then took up 
a Government claim in Carver county. He was elected to the 
Territorial Legislature in 1855 on the Olmsted Democratic ticket^ 
but was denied admission on the ground of the illegal organiza- 
tion of Carver county. He then returned to St. Paul, and began 
editorial work, which he continued on different German papers 
in St. Paul and the Minnesota valley, until near the time of his 

He was a graphic writer, and an eloquent speaker ; but of 
quiet habits, preferring a literary to a business career. This 
preference unfitted him, in his opinion, for the active hustling 
life he found everywhere around him in Minnesota. Those who 
knew him best thought his life more than ordinarily successful, 
but he had higher ambitions, and, because they were not realized, 
he went to his death by suicide November 25th, 1893, i-^nder a 
Qiicago Great Western locomotive in the Union Depot yard in 
St. Paul. 


In 1854 the first great rush of people into the Northwest be« 
gan. Thousands came overland in the canvas-covered "prairie 
schooners" common in those early days. Three new steamers 
were put on the river by the Galena line for the season of 1855. 
Every boat came loaded to the guards. There is authentic record 
that nearly thirty thousand people came up the river during that 
year alone. Some of the steamers divided three times their cost 
in actual profits. 

No wonder tliat journalism caught the boom infection of 
ihose years. Nine new weekly newspapers and one daily were 
st;irted in 1855, (?igbtecn new weeklies in 1856, and nineteen prior 
to August loth, 1857. On August 25th, 1857, came the explosion 





that many old timers so painfully remember. Of those forty-six 
tender journalistic children that ascended in that explosion, tlio 
oldest of which had lived less than twenty-eight months, there 
cajiie down, dead and mortally wounded, seven of the nine born 
in 1855; seventeen of the eighteen of 1856; and eighteen of the 
nineteen that had started during the first eight months of 1857. 
The mortality of corner lots was hardly greater than that of the 
newspapers of those twenty-eight months. 

Thikd Paper, 1856. 

The year 1856 came in. scattering with prodigal hand along 
its course eighteen additional weeklies through the vigorous 
young towns of ^linnesota Territory. 

The fever of pioneer enterprise increased. Alert traders, 
lawyers, doctors, mechanics, and other village and city builders, 
crowded every ^upbound steamboat on the ^^lississippi. Prairie 
schooners, crammed with farmers' families and their belongings, 
dotted the country landscape in all directions. Everywhere 
swarmed eager men intent on corner lots, land claims, and busi- 
ness and professional locations. The boom that finally brought 
disaster to the Northwest by over-doing things was rapidly build- 
ing. What wrecks it left ! 

About every twenty years the boys of the preceding financial 
storm have grown to be men and are taking their turn in com- 
manding the business crafts of the country. Some day they drift 
into the fogs of what men call new conditions, and in turn they 
go down on the same old rocks that wrecked their fathers and 

It reminds me of the story of the retired merchant whose 
■grandson cam.e to him for a record of his experience to guide him 
in the business life he was about to enter. "No, John," said the 
old man, "you wouldn't f oiler it if I should give it to ye. The 
best thing fer you is to pitch right in and get yer own experience, 
and, — John, get it arley.'' 

No matter how or when the time comes, communities, states, 
and nation, alike must have their financial disciplinary periods. 
They seem to be part of the needs of men. Individuals go down 
in these storms to irretrievable ruin, but as a whole there has been 




an advance. The masses of men have come out of the wreckage 
each time on safer ground. 


The St. Paul Daily Minnesotian of January i8th, 1856, says 
it has received the first number of a new paper called the Fillmore 
County Pioneer. Its place of publication was Carimona, a town 
laid out in i\Iarch, 1855, by a company of townsite proprietors. It 
was neutral in politics ; was owned by David Olmsted, William 
P. Murray, and Louis Robert, of St. Paul ; and was edited and , 
published by Ezra R. Trask. After running it awhile, Trask 
found that there was no money in the paper for him unless he 
owned the plant. He therefore proposed to the proprietors that 
they give him the plant on condition that he continue to print the 
Pioneer at Carimona and pay the bills. This was done. At that 
time, Carimona was the. county seat of Fillmore county. Soon 
afterward,' however, the county seat was moved to Preston. Trask 
then picked up his little hand press and its belongings, cast his 
agreement with Olm.sted and Co. to the winds, and moved into 
Iowa, where he sold out, and that was the last heard of him. 

The History of Fillmore county says tliat Trask sold the 
Pioneer outfit October 22nd, 1855, which is a mistake, as the 
paper was not started until January, 1856, as above stated. Prob- 
ably the month and day are right, but the year should be 1856, 
instead of 1855. H. C. Butler is said to be the party who bought 
it. Who he was, or where he moved the press and material, I 
have no means of knowing. The Fillmore County Pioneer was 
the twenty-fourth newspaper started in the Territory, and the 
first of three papers that lived and died early in the little village 
of Carimona. 


The next important chronological event of ^Minnesota jour- 
nalism was the death of Charles J. Henniss. He died of con- 
sumption, February 14th, 1856, aged thirty-five. He was born 
in Philadelphia, and was connected with the United States Ga- 
zette, the Courier and Inquirer of New York, and the North 
American of Philadelphia, prior to coming to St. Paul in the 
summer of 1850. In November, 1850, he became editor and 
proprietor of the Chronicle and Register of St. Paul, the onlv 
W'liig paper then published in the Territory. He was afterward 



connected, in various editorial ways, with different St. Paul 
papers, his last assignment being as miscellaneous editor of the 
Pioneer and Democrat in 1855. 

Mr. Henniss was a college graduate, a lawyer by profession, 
and a writer of more than ordinary ability. Like many bright 
fellows of those early days, he had some weaknesses of char- 
acter; but they injured none but himself. He was chief among 
unselfish men, having been known to minister weeks at a time 
at the bedside of the sick and needy without reward, except the 
consciousness of the performance of a noble duty. 


The Henderson Democrat was a four-page, seven-column,. 
Democratic paper, which, according to the Pioneer and Dem- 
ocrat of April 17th, 1856, was started at Henderson, Sibley 
county, on April 3rd of that year. It was the twenty-fifth 
paper published in the Territory. Its editor and owner was the 
omnipresent, irrepressible Joseph R. Brown. He was a prom- 
inent Democratic leader in early days, the owner and editor 
during 1853 and 1854 of the St. Paul Pioneer, and the fathei 
of the town of Henderson, where in 1856 the Democrat was 
started as above stated. In 1857 ^^'^^ elected to the Minne- 
sota Legislature a third time; and shortly afterward he be- 
came a member of the convention to form a constitution for the 
new state of Alinnesota. 

On the sixth of August, 1857, Brown installed Charles C 
Guppy as editor and publisher of the Democrat. Guppy was 
succeeded shortly after by James W. Lynde. The latter tired of 
his position and of the Democracy together, and on May 25th, 
1859, he resigned from the Democrat and abandoned the party. 
June 1st, 1859, the name of H. H. Young appeared at the head 
of its columns. April 6th, 1861, is the date of the last number in 
the files of the Library of the Historical Society. It went under 
stKDn afterward. 

Lynde was shot by an Indian at the beginning of the sav- 
age outbreak of 1862. Guppy I have been unable to trace. 


Harry H. Young was born in Virginia in 1825 of Quaker 
parentage. He came to Minnesota in 1859, and lived first nt 




Plendersoti. Daring the civil war he went back east and was 
correspondent of a Baltimore paper. Ke returned at the end of 
the war, and was employed on Red Wing and Rochester papers, 
and later became Immigration Secretary of ^linnesota. While 
in that office he edited and distributed seventy-five thousand 
copies of "Illustrated Alinnesota.'* He died in St. Luke's Hos- 
pital in St. Paul, of congestion of the brain, February 8th, 1896. 


I like to enliven the rather dry routine of my stir among the 
journalistic dry bones of the territorial period by relating in- 
cidents of those early days. Not all are of the humorous kind, 
however. One carries me back to the beginnings of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society. In my search through the files of early 
territorial newspapers I came to the January i6th, 1856, issue of 
the Pioneer and Democrat. There I found the names of sixty- 
two men who contributed twenty-five dollars each for a life 
membership in the Society to enable Colonel D. A. Robertson 
to purchase two lots for building purposes. Fifteen hundred 
dollars were paid for the lots, the basement walls and corner 
stone were laid, and then 1857 rolled over the foundations and 
th# building stopped. The lots are on the northwest corner of 
Wabasha and Tenth streets. They will prove a valuable nucleus 
towards providing permanent quarters when the Society has out- 
grown the rooms given it in the new capitol building. This will 
come sooner than most of us now believe possible. 

Naming the sixty-two donors of life memberships to buy 
those two lots seems now like calling the roll of the dead. Here 
thev are : 

Truman M. Smith, 
R. R. Nelson, 
C. J. Pettys, 

C. P. Daly. 
L. M. Olivier, 
Charles L. Willis, 
Alexis Bailly, 
A. H. Cathcart, 

D. A. J. Baker, 
John Randall. 
U. W. Irwin, 
C. T. Whitney, 

N. J. T. Dana, 
B. F. Hoyt, 
Parker Payne, 
George L. Becker, 
J. Esaias Warren, 
Lyman Dayton, 
Lyman C. Dayton, 
Simon W. Arnold, 
Alexander Ramsey, 
Charles N. Mackubin, 
Erastus S. Edgerton, 
William R. Marshall. 

J. E. Whitney, 
Justus C. Ramsey, 
Charles D. El felt. 
J. C Martin, 
O. R. Cole, 

William Henry Forbes, 
Norman W. Kittson, 
J. W. Bass, 
John R. Irvine, 
William L. Banning, 
William HoUinshead. 



William Constans, 
W. L. Ames, 
A. F. Hows, 
J. L. Farwell, 
J. P. Pond, 
James M. Winslow, 
Daniel Rohrer, 
William G. Le Due, 
Joseph S. Sewali, 

M. E. Ames, 
George Fuller, 

A. L. Larpenteur, 

Alfred Gurin, 
David Gurin, 

J. W. Selby, 
F. Frederick, 

Isaac Van Etten, 
Franklin Steele, 

Edmund Rice, 
John B. Brisbin, 
Abram Elfelt, 
Henry H. Sibley, 
J. C. Burbank, 
Alpheus Fuller, 
D. A. Robertson, 
Peter Berkey, 
John Nicols. 

I knew snearly all these men, and of the ^ixty-two I am 
not certain that more than nine still survive. They are D. A. 
J. Baker, Peter Berkey, WilHam Constans, N. J. T. Dana, A. L. 
Larpenteur, William G. Le Due, R. R. Nelson, Joseph S. Sewall. 
and Truman Smith. 

The Dakota Weekly Journal was the twenty-sixth newspa- 
per started in ]\Iinnesota. Only one copy of this paper is in the 
library of the Historical Society. I find it bound with the files 
of the Hastings Independent. It was a four-page, six column, 
Democratic paper. The copy preserved is No. 5 of Volume i, 
dated June 21st, 1856, making the date of first issue May 24th, 
1856. The press and material were the same as had been used 
to print the Red W^ing Sentinel No. i, referred to in my record of 
the papers of 1855. The purchase was made by Alexis Bailly, an 
old time fur trader of ^Mendota, and member of the first Terri- 
* torial Legislature of ^vlinnesota. The place of publication was 
Hastings, Dakota county. Henry G. Bailly, son of Alexis, 
ran the paper and James C. Dow w^as its editor. Henry G. 
Bailly was a member of the Constitutional Convention of Minne- 
sota and a senator in the first legislature after Minnesota became 
a state. 

The county seat of Dakota county was at first located at 
Kaposia, a small Indian trading post a short distance below St. 
Paul. The village of Mendota being somewhat prominent in 
'the early fifties as the headquarters of Hon. H. H. Sibley, who 
became the first governor of Minnesota after its admission as a 
state, the county seat was removed to that place in 1854. At an 
election held March 27th, 1857, it was ordered that the countv 
seat be removed to Hastings, and the records were transferred 
June 2nd, 1857, where they have since remained. 




The History of Dakota County says that on April 24th, 
1857, when it became known that the county seat had veen voted 
to be moved to Hastings, Dow printed his valedictory and re- 
tired from the Journal. Martin Williams succeeded him, but 
the Pioneer Press of November 19th, 1857, announced the per- 
manent suspension of the paper. 


Jim Dow, as he was familiarly called, was a man who would 
have ranked next to Goodhue as an editorial writer, had he 
kept steady and attended to business. Neglected, however, as 
the Dakota Journal was during most of its existence, it yet 
stood well among the newspapers of the territory while it lived. 
I have no record of where Dow was born, or of his doings be- 
fore he became editor of the Journal. He was a member of the 
House in the first legislature after ^linnesota became a state, and 
succeeded Hon. W. W. Phelps as register of the United States 
Land Office at Henderson, April 17th, 1858, Phelps having been 
elected to Congress. Since that time, I have found no trace 
of him. 


Martin Williams was born in Ohio in 1823. He learned the 
printers' trade there, and came to St. Paul and was connected 
with its early papers until he became editor of the Dakota Jour- 
nal in 1857. After that he moved to St. Peter, and established 
the St. Peter's Tribune in 1859. He afterward sold the Tribune 
and became a quartermaster in the army.- After the war he 
worked on the Pioneer and Democrat of St. Paul, and in 1869 
moved to Minneapolis and worked there as a reporter until 
his death, December loth, 1891. Mart Williams had many friends. 


The Minnesota Gazette was the twenty-seventh newspaper 
printed in Minnesota. No files are in existence that I can find. 
The origin of this paper was as follows. The press and material 
of the Red Wing Sentinel having been sold to Alexis Bailly on 
the 15th of May, 1856, and moved from Red Wing to Has- 
tings to start the Dakota Weekly Journal, Red Wing was left 
without a newspaper. Nehemiah V. and Cornelius Bennett then 
stepped in with a new plant and started the Minnesota Ga- 



zette. As the Pioneer and Democrat of St. Paul on July 3rii. 
1856. and the Xorthwestern Democrat of Minneapolis on Julv 
5th. announced the receipt of the first number of the Gazette, it 
is safe to assume that it was started about July ist. N. V. Ben- 
nett was .the editor and Cornelius Bennett the publisher. 

June 6th, 1857, the Sc. Paul Advertiser said, '*'Red Wing 
■Gazette has changed owners, ]\Ir. Bennett having sold to Dan 
S. Merritt. 'Mr. Bennett leaves the office on account of his 
health." Merritt published the paper under the name of the 
Gazette, according to the St. Paul Advertiser as late as Julv 
25th, 1857. and then changed the name back to the Red Wing 
Sentinel, picking up the old volume and number of the Sentinel 
by the way and going on as though the Gazette had never ex- 
isted. The record of the Red Wing Sentinel Xo. i was given 
in my history of papers of 1855. The record of Red W^ing Sen- 
tinel No. 2 will come under the head of papers of 1857. 


One day in ^lay, 1856, R. P. Russell, receiver of the United 
States Land Office for the Minneapolis District, brought into the 
'office of the St. Anthony Express, a paper that he thought might 
interest its readers. It read as follows : 

At an election held at the house of R. P. Russell in the precinct of 
St. Anthony Falls, township 29, in the County of St. Croix, and Ter- 
ritory of Wisconshi, on the 30th day of October, 1848, the following 
persons received the number of votes annexed to their respective names 
for the following described offices, to wit: Henry H. Sibley had twelve 
for Delegate to Congress : Henry M. Rice had thirty for Delegate to 

( Calvin A. Turtle, 
Certified by us < Roswell P. Russell, 
( Sherburn House. 

Judges of Election. 


} Sumner W. Farnhpim, 

Clerks of Election. 

The names of the voters were as follows : 

Alpheus R. French, Henry II. Angell, Eli F. Lewis, 

Andrew L. Cummings, Benjamm Bidgood, Isaac Marks, 

Benjamin Bowles, Charles L. Mitchell, Joseph Brown, 

Andrew Schwartz, Robert Cummings, Anthony Page, 

John Dall, Ira A. Burrows, Stephen S. Angell, 

Alfred B. Robinson, William A. Cheevei, John J. Carlton, 



Edward Patch, 
Horace Booth, 
John Banfield, 
David Chapman, 
Dixon Farmer, 
John Rex, 
Dennis Sherica, 
WilHam J. Whaland. 

John McDermott, 
Edgar Folsom. 
David Gilman, 
Joel B. Daman. 
Sanford Huse. 
Aaron P. Howard, 
Iran Sincere, 
James M. Howard, 

Louis Cross, 
Daniel Stanchfield, 
Sterling Gresshorn, 
Roswell P. Russell, 
Sherbum Huse, 
Caleb D. Dorr, 
Sumner W. Farnham, 
Calvin A. -Tuttle. 

Of this list of forty-two voters, comprising all that then 
lived in what is now Minneapolis, Mr. Dorr and I recognize 
the names of only three who are now living. They are Caleb 
D. Dorr, Daniel Stanchfield and Edward Patch. 


The Wabasha Journal, Xo. i, started at Read's Landing, 
Wabasha county, and the earliest mention of it that I find is in 
the Minnesotian of July i8th, and the St. Anthony Express of 
July 19th, 1856. It must have been started about the 15th of 
July, 1856. The History of Wabasha County says the first 
issue was July 4th, 1856. It was a six-column, Democratic 
sheet. H. J. Sanderson was its proprietor and editor, and it was 
the twenty-eighth newspaper started in Minnesota. 

The History of Wabasha County says the Journal was 
moved from Read's Landing to Wabasha in the spring of 1857, 
and was made the official paper of that village April 27th, 1858. 
At some time during the summer of 1858. S. S. Burleson of 
North Pepin, Wisconsin, bought an interest in the paper; and 
later he became its owner, and changed its name to the Alinne- 
sota Patriot. After a few months Burleson sold to H. C. Simp- 
son, who changed the name back to the Journal. In 1S60, G. 
W. Marsh came in with himi, and the Journal became RepubHcan 
and supported Lincoln for President. 

The Journal No. i went with the leaves in the autumn of 
1858. Burleson afterward became an Episcopal minister. San- 
derson went south and joined the Confederate army, and Grant 
got him when he captured A'icksburg in 1863. 


I find in the St. Paul Minnesotian of July 2rst. 1856, that 
the Preston Journal of Preston, Fillmore county, had just made 
its appearance, and was neutral in politics. I also find that the 
Plistory of Fillmore County says a paper called tlie Preston 



Journal was issued in 1856 by Getzel and Co., and after print- 
ing one issue was stopped. I find no further reference to it. If 
it is worth a name, however, it is worth a number in the series 
of Minnesota newspapers. The Journal must have appeared 
about the 15th of July, 1856. I have placed it in the list as tl.e 
twenty-ninth newspaper started in ^vlinnesota Territory; and 
there, until some one furnishes more facts about it, I shall have 
to leave it. 


The Owatonna Watchman and Register leaves no files that' 
I have been able to find. The earliest notices of it appear in 
the Alinnesotian, the Pioneer and Democrat, and the St. Paul 
Advertiser. The ^linnesotian of July 29th, 1856, says it was 
edited by A. B. Cornell and S. T. Smeed. The History of 
Steele County says H. 2\l. Steele was the editor. The Pioneer 
and Democrat of July 31st says, "the Owatonna Watchman and 
Register, edited and published by John H. Abbott and A. B. 
Cornell, a four-page, seven-column. Republican paper, has been 
received." It is quoted by the Advertiser in its issues of April 
4th and of AugTist 22nd, 1857. 

The statement was made in the ]vIinnesotian of December 
6th, 1856, that H. ^l. Sheetz, formerly of the Freeport Journal 
of Freeport, Illinois, was editor of the Watchman and Register. 
I find no further mention of the paper, except that during 1857 
the name was changed to the Owatonna Register, and the name 
of Mr. Pettit added to the management. Mr. Sheetz was twice 
elected to the Minnesota Legislature, and died in Owatonna on 
October i6th, 1859. 

On the above facts I base the conclusion that this news- 
paper must have been started about the 20th of July, 1856, an^l 
that it went down in the latter part of 1857 or early in 1858. 
Its place of publication was Owatonna, Steele county, and it was 
the thirtieth newspaper started in Minnesota. 


No issues of the Cannon I-'alls Gazette are in existence, so 
far as I can find. The Pioneer and Democrat of August 71I11 
1856, notes the first issue. It must therefore have been started 
about the first of August of that year. It was the thirty-first 
newspaper started in the Territory, and was a four-page, six- 
column journal, independent in politics. R. Wilson Flamilton 




was its editor and proprietor; and its place of publication was 
Cannon Falls, Goodhue county. It soon passed into the hands 
of a man named Hatch, who printed it to about the middle of 
May, 1857, when it stopped. The St. Paul Advertiser of Mav 
31st, 1857, said it had passed into the hands of R. A. Hoag and 
brother, who bought the plant and started the Bulletin, a some- 
what larger paper, in August following. This they printed until 
after the close of 1857, "*-vhen they moved the press and m.a- 
terial to Northfield, Rice county, and started the Northfield Jour- 

Hancock's History of Goodhue County says, that Hoag and 
Brother changed the name of the Bulletin to the Echo, and 
when the Echo died away they took the plant to Northfield. An- 
other History of Gc-odhuc County insists that the outfit went to 
Northfield immediately after the failure of the Bulletin, and that 
a man named Bromwick started the Echo at Cannon Falls. It 
matters little, however, for they are all dead ; and not a single 
copy of any of them, so far as I know, is in existence. 


In the valedictory of A. J. Van Vorhes, written when he sold 
the Stillwater Messenger plant to Willard S. Whitmore, I find 
it stated that the first issue of the Messenger appeared Septem.ber 
15th, 1856. The last issue of Messenger No. i was volume 12, 
No. 27, dated March nth, 1868. It was a four-page, seven- 
column. Republican sheet, and the thirty-second in general 
course in the Territory. A. J. Van Vorhes was owner and 
editor. W. M. Easton joined him soon afterw^ard, the firm be- 
coming Van Vorhes and Easton. the former still remaining 
editor. This business relation continued until September 6th, 
1862, when the partnership was dissolved and Van Vorhes again 
became sole owner and editor. 

Later, because of continued absence as quartermaster in the 
army, Van Vorhes procured the services of A. B. Stickney, now 
president of the Chicago Great Western Railway, as editor, and 
his salutatory appears in the issue of May 19th, 1863. A. B. 
Easton was placed in charge of the mechanical department. 

October ist, 1863, Vorhes made a lease of the plant to 
Stickney and Easton for one year. October 1st, 1864, Stickney 
retired, and Van Vorhes renewed the lease to Easton for an- 


Other year. October 3rd, 1865, Van Vorbes resumed contr-..! 
of the Messenger as editor and pubUsher. 

March nth, 1868, at Volume 12, No. 26, Yzn Vorhes sol.' 
the plant to Willard S. -Whitmore, who said he carried the first 
copy of the Messenger ever printed and that he had been con- 
tinuously connected with the paper for the preceding four year?. 
This purchase closed the career of the first ^^lessenger. Out 
week thereafter the Stillwater Republican appeared in its place 
at \'oiume i, Xo. i. Whitm^ore gave as a reason that the partv 
was on the eve of an important and exciting campaign, and that 
a name indicative of Republican principles was desirable. 

Whitmore ran the Republican until October 4th, 1870, wh-'n 
h€ sold it to George K. Shaw of Minneapolis, who continued 
the Republican to Volume 3, No. 40, ' December i6th, 1870. 
when he changed the name back to the Stillwater Messenger, 
and sent it ahead on a jump to Volume 16, No. 15, as though the 
Stillwater Republican had never been. It has since been issued 
as the Stillwater ^lessenger, and is still going. 

I do not like to break the publication record of the Messen- 
ger; but I must print facts, or my history will be unreliable. 
The files conclusively show that the Stillwater Messenger, No. 
I, died, and that the Republican was started in its stead. That 
in turn died, and Stillwater Messenger, No. 2, followed it, the 
same as the Red Wing Sentinel, No.i, was followed by the ]\[in- 
nesota Gazette, and as that in turn was followed by Sentine! 
No. 2. Any other procedure vv^ould blot out the Republican and 
Gazette, which had as m.uch right to be named as any of the 
seventeen newspapers which have gone into that omnivorous 
absorber, the Pioneer Press. 


Andrew J. Van "Vorhes was born in Washington county. 
Pennsylvania, June 30th, 1824. He began to set type on his 
father's paper, the Hocking \'alley Gazette in Ohio, at t'v: 
age of thirteen. He worked there until 1844, when he and his 
brother Nelson bought the paper and changed its name to tiio 
Athens Messenger. In 1847 was elected recorder of tlio 
county. He was also recording clerk in the Ohio Legislature one- 
term. In 1855 he came to Stillwater, Minn., and in 1856 cstaD- 
lished the Stillwater ^lessenger and conducted it until 1808. 
when failing health compelled him to sell and retire from Inisi- 



ness after twenty-seven years of active journalism. He was 
a member of the Minnesota Legislature in i860, and was selected 
by the government as agent to aid in the Indian payment at 
Fort Ripley in 1862, when for nine days the fort was invested 
by the savages. He was also a quartermaster in the army from 
1863 to 1865, and served as clerk of the Supreme Court of Min- 
nesota one term. He died in Stillwater January loth," 1873. 

He was an honest, active, painstaking journalist, and the 
pages of his paper were always clean. As a public officer he 
was faithful to his trust, and both socially and politically he made 
many very warm friends. 


The Republican Advocate was started at Shakopee, Scott 
county, September 27th, 1856, and was the thirty-third of Ter- 
ritorial papers. A. B. and H. Y. Russell were the publishers. 
It suspended temporarily in the fall of 1857, and went under 
permanently early in i860. It left no files that I can find, and 
I have not been able to find anything further elsewhere of the 


I find in the files of the Pioneer and Democrat of ]\[ay 15th, 
1856, that the prospectus of the Chatfield Democrat had been 
received; and its issue of October 9th, 1856. says it has "re- 
ceived the first number of the paper." The Pioneer and Dem- 
ocrat also commends it for its support of Buchanan and Breck- 
enridge for president and vice-president of the United States. 
The St. Paul Advertiser of December 27th, 1856, quotes the pro- 
ceedings of a railroad meeting which was ordered published in 
the Carimona Telegraph, the Chatfield Democrat, and the Chat- 
field Republican. 

Hon. H. R. Wells of Preston, Fillmore county, is sure that 
a paper called the Chatfield Democrat was published in Chatfield 
in 1856, and that it was owned by John H. McKenny and others 
connected with the United States Land Office, then located in 
Chatfield. Mrs. Wells, who is a daughter of ^vTr. ^^IcKenny, re- 
members the paper, but who ran it she cannot tell. 'General Bish- 
op also mentions the Chatfield Democrat of 1856, in a small 
pamphlet which he wrote and had printed about that time. The 
date of the first issue of the Democrat must have been about 


October ist, 1856, -and it was probably discontinued early in 
1857. It comes, therefore, into line as the thirty-fourth news- 
paper started in the Territory. 


The Rice County Herald was the thirty-fifth newspaper in 
Minnesota. Its place of publication was Faribault, Rice county. 
F. W. Frink was its owner and editor. He began it October 
22nd, 1856, printed six issues, and then sold the plant to J. L. 
Pond, who made R. A. Alott editor. Pond printed one more 
number, the December 3rd issue, when Mott bought the outfit 
and its publication ceased. 


The first issue of the Chatfield Republican appears to have 
been printed October 25th, 1856. It was a four-page, seven- 
column. Republican paper, printed in Chatfield, Fillmore county, 
and was the thirty-sixth in the Territory. The publishers were 
^ J. W. Twilford and Co., and the editor H. W. Holley. June 
13th, 1857, Orville Brown became one of the editors. The pa- 
per was noted for its bitter opposition to the Five Million Dollar 
Railroad Loan bill, and its columns contained sam.ples of vitu- 
peration equal lo those of the St. Paul Pioneer under Good- 

The parting kick at an editor of another paper who was 
about to retire is a gem of its kind. Here is the part that 
landed the hardest. I find it in the December 6th, 1859, issue of 
the Republican. 

Here now he stands, a man who professed to be an editor of a paper, 
but who was in reaHty a thing, edited himself by a clique. A man who 
for a long series of months was a mouthpiece for the utterances of Bil- 
lingsgate, whose authors were ashamed to acknowledge its paternity : a 
man who was set on like a barking pup to do the dirty work of a few 
press owners ; a man who wore a collar of the mind slave weakly, sub- 
missively, obediently cringing and fawning at the feet of those who fed 
him, until, worn out in their service, they gave him what such labors 
sooner or later always bring, ungrateful return for such services rendered, 
by telling him to go forth, the world was all before him where to choose 
and Providence his guide. 

The Historical Library files of this paper are not complete. 
The last that I find is Volume 5, No. 49, October 15th, 186 1. 
The press and material was sold shortly after that date, how- 




ever, and were moved to Preston and used to start the Preston 
Republican. According to my records, the Fillmore Countv 
Pioneer of Carimona, first noticed in this paper, was the first 
newspaper published in Fillmore county, and the Chatfield Re- 
publican was tlie third. 


Henry W. Holley was born in Pierrepont Manor, Jefferson 
county, N. Y., May 5th, 1828. He was graduated from Norwich 
University, Vermont, a college for engineers, in 1849, 
worked as a civil engineer on railroads seven years in Ohio, 
Indiana, and Wisconsin. In 1856 he came to ^linnesota, and 
joined Twilford and Company in establishing the Chatfield Re- 
publican. In 1857 he was a member of the ^linnesota Consti- 
tutional Convention. In 186 1 he was appointed receiver of the 
Winnebago Land Office, and served in that capacity eight years. 
He was serving a term in the Minnesota Senate when he re- 
ceived this apointment. During part of the time he was re- 
ceiver he acted as chief engineer of the Southern ^Jinnesota 
railroad, of which he was one of the original incorporators. He 
was connected with that road until 1874, the last four years act- 
ing as its superintendent and general manager. As Holley was 
absent a large share of his time, Orville Brown was the chief 
writer for the columns of the papers with which he and Brown 
were connected. Holley, however, was a writer of much more 
than ordinary ability, and a well equipped man in every sense. 
He moved farther west some years since, and died near Everett 
Washington, four or five years ago. 


Orville Brown used to be called ''Awful Brown" by some 
of the newspapers of his time. He was probably the author of 
the editorial of which I have quoted a portion in my notice of 
the Chatfield Republican. He was born in Ellisburg, Jefferson 
county, N. Y,. November loth, 1810. He worked at railroad- 
ing in portions of the west from 1851 to 1856 when he came 
to Minnesota, locating at Chatfield in 1857, where he became, 
as I have stated, one of the editors of the Chatfield Republican. 

In 1859 the Republican was sued for libel by C. C. Hemp- 
hill, the editor and proprietor of the Chatfield Democrat, for one 
of the bitter articles of the fomier paper, a sample of which I 



have given. A verdict of one hundred dollars was rendered 
in favor of Hemphill, which Vv-as set aside by the judge of the 
district court, and that, I believe, was the end of the suit. 

After selling the plant of the Republican, HoUey and 
Brown bought the press and material of the Faribault Herald, 
which was established by R. A. Mott, December loth, 1856, after 
he had bought and extinguished the Rice County Herald. HoUey 
and Brown put out the light of the Faribault Herald, in turn, and 
began the Central Republican on June 23d, 1858, Orville Brown 
being editor, which still runs as the Faribault Republican. Holley 
and Brown ran the Central Republican, Brown still remaining 
editor, until November 20th, 1861, when Holley retired. Brown 
continued alone until December 20th, 1865, when he sold to A. 
W. McKinstry. 

In January, 1869, Mr. Brown purchased the Mankato Rec- 
ord of John C. Wise. Griswold, of the Mankato Union, once 
said that the Record was Democratic by profession, but not 
any too much so by practice. Brown turned it into a Repub- 
lican paper and published it until he retired from the newspaper 
business, October 25th, 1879. Brown was appointed post- 

master at Tvlankato in 1873, and held the office until 1884. H*" 
was a man of exemplary character, but strong in his likes and 
dislikes, and in his newspaper days kept things in a stir wher- 
ever he went. He died in St. Paul, January 5th, 1901, in the 
ninety-first year of his age. 


The Northern Herald, published first at Watab, Benton 
county, and afterward at Little Falls, Morrison county, was the 
thirty-seventh newspaper started in Minnesota. No copies seem 
to be in existence. I find the first notices of it in the Minnesotian 
of November i8th, 1856, and the Pioneer and Democrat of 
November 20th, 1856. The latter paper says that the material 
for the Herald was purchased from the Pioneer and Democrat. 
The Herald must have started about Nevember 15th, 1856. It 
was owned by Parker H. French. It is mentioned in the issues 
of the Minnesotian of November i8th and 22nd, as located at 
Watab ; and the statement is made that "new papers are multi- 
plying so fast that it is difficult to keep track of them." 

It was published by E. C. Church. French moved the paper 
to Little Falls shortly after its start at Watab, ran it a few montlis 



and then sold it to the Little Falls Manufacturing Company. 
Church succeeded French as editor, and it went on about two 
years thereafter, when it was wrecked in the financial storm 
following- 1857. 


AH I have been able to learn of Parker H. French is that he 
was said to have been Walker's secretary of state, when the lat- 
ter attempted to filibuster Nicaragua. On his arrival in Minnesota 
with his family, he was introduced by the Pioneer and Democrat 
of August 2 1 St, 1856. as the United States minister to Nicaragua. 
Later on September 6th, the Minnesotian says that French and 
his associates had gone on an exploring trip into northern Min- 
nesota, west of Leech and Sandy lakes, and that he intended to 
bring a number of families from the south to settle there in the 
spring of 1857. 

After selling the Herald, French went to California, and the 
St. Paul Advertiser of June 20th, 1857, said he had been ad- 
vertised to begin a daily in Sacramento about May ist of that 
year. The St. Paul ^^linnesotian of January ist, 1859, made the 
announcement that French had become the publisher of the 
Evening Sentinel, a new' paper in New York, and that Hon. 
Mike Walsh, member of . Congress from that city, was helping 
him run it. This is the last trace I find of him. 


In examining the files of the early newspapers of Minnesota 
for facts to picture Territorial journalism, I came upon an ed- 
itorial showing that as late as 1856 something of the old meat- 
axe style of journalism still sur\'ived outside the Chatfield Re- 
publican. I did not note the name of the paper or editor. That, 
however, does not matter. 

It seems that a country paper had been established upon 
the usual understanding that the owner was to have a certain 
amount of patronage from the people of the new town to keep 
him from starving. They didn't do as they agreed. So he 
cut his paper down to a four-column, nine by twelve sheet, and 
went at the delinquents in a new prospectus as follows : 


This paper will no sooner advocate what its editor believes to be a 
humbug than a hard-shell Baptist will baptize an infant by immersion 



or an adult by sprinkling. He will publish in it just what he 
mill-dam please, without fear or favor, and almost without hop-; 
of the reward to which he is legally and morally entitled for services ren- 
dered a community marked by piety, parsimony, temperance, and elastic 
consciences, and who are, and have been, financially and irreligiously kick- 
ing a public servant who has done his whole duty. He has honestly up- 
held the justice of removing the county seat and shown the benefits aris- 
ing therefrom. He will talk turkey when in the turkey mood, and gibble 
gossip when he listeth. He will battle for his rights against the world, 
the flesh, and the devil. He will try to live on property he earned before 
his advent into this blue-bellied land of sectarian cut-throats and pimps 
of pious hypocrisy, will claim the right to sue and be sued, will wear a 
common seal, and, like the register of deeds of Jackson county, raise 
hell generally, and will probably be remembered as the man all tattered 
and torn. Terms, one dollar and a half, invariably in advance. 


, Were it not for the fact that the Faribault Herald begins at 
Vol. I, No. I, I would call it the continuation of the Rice County 
Herald, which had a life of only seven weeks, when its press 
and material were purchased by R. A. Mott and used to stare 
the Faribault Herald. Mott saw fit to snuff out the Rice County 
Herald entirely and begin a new newspaper, so I must chronicle 
it as such, and name it the thirty-eighth paper in regular Terri- 
torial course. Though it increases the list of these early news- 
papers somewhat, I see no other way to preserve identity and 
' avoid confusion. 

Volume I, No. i, is dated December loth, 1856^ its place 
of publication Faribault, Rice county, with R. A. Mott as editor 
and proprietor. He ran it until June 2nd, 1858, when he sold 
the plant to Holley and Brown, who unceremoniously stopped the 
Faribault Herald, in turn, and started a new volume and num- 
ber on June 23d, 1858, called the Central Republican, which to- 
day is still running usefully and vigorously under the name ot 
the Faribault Republican as has already been stated. 

R. A. MOTT. 

R. A. Mott was born in Warren, New York, December 6th. 
1825. He studied law with James H. Collins in Chicago in 
1848, went overland to California in 1850, returned in 185:?. 
and in the spring of 1856 came to Faribault. He joined J. L- 
Pond as editor of the Rice County Herald in October of that 
year, and having purchased the plant began the issue of the 



Faribault Herald on December loth; as has been stated. After 
selling the paper to Holley and Brown in 1858, he was admitted 
to the bar, and has since followed it as his profession. 

Mr. Mott has been county attorney of Faribault two terms; 
county superintendent of schools several years; and in 1880 
he was elected to the state legislature. He has always taken a 
great interest in the state institutions of Faribault, and has 
aided them greatly in various ways. 


The press and material of the ^lonticello Journal, the thirty- 
ninth newspaper printed in Minnesota, were brought to Monti- 
cello, Wright county, in the latter part of November, 1856, by 
H. C. Bunce; and the first issue was set up and printed mainly 
by D. L. Kingsbury, now assistant librarian of the Minnesota 
Historical Society. He does not remember the date of that 
issue, but it was some time about the middle of December, 1856. 
The health of ^Ir. Bunce failed, and he sold the press and ma- 
terial to a syndicate which started the Monticello Times, May 
2ist, 1857. 


The Oronoco Courier is another weekly newspaper of which 
no copies seem to be in existence. It was the fortieth newspaper, 
and the first trace of it appears in the St. Paul Minnesotian, 
which says in its issue of December 20th, 1856, "The first num- 
ber of the Oronoco Courier, of Oronoco, Olmsted county, is re- 
ceived." It seems to have been edited by D. H. Galloway and E. 
Allen Power, and belonged to a stock company, and the press 
and materials were purchased in Dubuque, Iowa. It was neu- 
tral in politics and was started evidently to boom the town of 
Oronoco, which was platted less than two years after the first 
white settler came into that part of the country. 

The St. Paul Advertiser termed it one of the ablest con- 
ducted newspapers in ^linnesota. Dr. Galloway left the paper 
shortly after it started and went to Rochester, and afterward 
settled in Fargo, North Dakota. That is the latest trace of him 
that I have. Power wrote his valedictory and left the paper July 
3rd, 1857, and later was elected to the legislature when Minnesota 
became a state. The Courier then passed into the hands of 
Alfred E. Sawyer. It ran on until late in December, 1857, 


when the Advertiser of the 26th of that month quotes its terse 
valedictory to its subscribers, as follows : "This number is the last 
you will receive of the Oronoco Courier. It has fulfilled i^s 
mission. It was an institution of Oronoco, and now it is }wt." 


The Carimona Telegraph followed the demise of the Fill- 
more County Pioneer. It was printed in Carimona, in that 
county; and, as nearly as I can time it, was the forty-first paper 
started in the Territory, and the eighteenth in 1856. There 
are no copies in existence, so far as I can learn. In fact, the 
only record of it that I can find is in the St. Paul Advertiser 
of 1856 and 1857. Under date of December 27th, 1856, that 
paper published the proceedings of a railroad meeting in Car- 
imona which was ordered published in the Carimona Telegraph, 
Chatfield Democrat, and Chatfield Republican. The Advertiser 
quoted the Telegraph again under date of January 31st, 1857.. 
and that is all I can definitely learn about it. As the Fillmore 
County Pioneer, described in the early part of this paper, lived 
nearly a year, the Telegraph probably very closely follow^ed it, 
and then in turn went under just before the Western Transcript 
was started in Carimona in May, 1857. The village was too 
small to support two papers at a time; and, of the three it had, 
the hardiest lived less than a year. It would seem, therefore, 
either that the town site company wore out printers pretty fait, 
or that Carimona was an unhealthy place for new^spapers in those 
early days. 

SUMMARY, 1856. 

Of the eighteen new papers started in 1856, seventeen went 
down early. Fourteen of them were so completelv swept awav 
that no copies remain that I can find. For the remaining four. 
I find broken files of the Henderson Democrat, Stillwater Mes- 
senger, and Chatfield Republican. Of the Dakota Weekly Jour- 
nal a single copy is all that seems to have been preserved. Oniv 
two of the eighteen run today under the original names. They 
are the Stillwater .Messenger and the Chatfield Democrat. The 
Messenger died, and the Stillwater Republican arose on Jt? 
grave. The ^Messenger, however, was afterward resurrectec 
as I have described in my record of that paper, and is still livnii;. 



riie Cliatfield Democrat was resurrected by Hemphill, and 
started under new volume and number, September nth, 1857. 

The only way I have been able to follow these vanished 
newspapers has been by a laborious hunt through countv his- 
tories and files of contemporaneous journals, and by correspond- 
ence with old settlers. :^Iany will have doubts as to whether the 
search will pay. As for me, I know that these old journals 
had much to do in building the foundations of Minnesota, and as 
one of her Territorial pioneers I am proud to contribute this 
series of papers to the Historical Society as my tribute to their 

Fourth Paper, January 1st to August 25th, 1857. 

The small remnant of iMinnesota business men now living 
who were here between 1854 and 1861, still vividly recall how it 
feels to go through the rise and fall of a boom period. Every- 
thing seemed to be in the air and moving briskly in those days. 
Not even corner lots could be held down. I remember a townsite 
promoter of 1857 who embellished one of his plats with churches, 
schoolhouses, county and business buildings, and fine residences, 
when there was only a claim shanty on the whole outfit, and 
while yet the country was nearly bare of farm improvements for 
miles around. He took his townsite plat to Washington while 
Congress was in session, having only money enough to pay the 
railroad fare and about two weeks' living in a cheap boarding 
house. Before the close of the first week, he moved into a suite 
of finely furnished rooms in the best hotel in the city, and ic 
was said that he returned to Minnesota in the spring with about 
ten thousand dollars realized from lots in that townsite. To 
make those sales, he had talked fiction during the winter; but I 
have reason to think he honestly believed that the millions he 
saw in the air over that quarter section fully justified the fiction. 


I was one of a company of four who were tangled among 
townsites along the Red river of the North in 1857; therefore, 


I have charity for men who got boom fever mto their blood. 
J. W. Prentiss and myself, J. C. Moulton, our agent, Pierre 
Bottineau and his brother Charlie, who were our guides, with 
four teamsters, making a total of nine men, started from St. 
Paul, January 2nd, 1857. Our destination was the junction of 
the Bois des Sioux and Otter Tail rivers, where Breckenridge and 
Wahpeton now stand. We had two long sleds, built for har J 
usage, and five yoke of oxen. Our route was by way of St. 
Cloud, lake Whipple, lake Pomme de Terre, and Lightning lake. 
We were twenty-seven days getting through, and six of us lived 
out there through the hardest February, March, and April, T 
have ever seen. After the first week out the snow averaged two 
feet deep on the unburned prairie, and from six inches to a foot 
where it had been burned over. The surface of the latter, swept 
by forty degrees below zero winds, was covered by a sharp crust 
that bit the legs of our cattle sorely. During the latter part or 
the trip, they were swelled to three times their natural size, an(i 
nearly every step they made was stained with blood. The de- 
pressions of the trail were everywhere drifted full, and where 
we could not get around them, they had to be shoveled through. 

The extreme severity of the wanter and spring made relief 
impossible until May nth. In the meantime, nine of our ten 
oxen had starved to death, there being nothing available for them 
after the first week of February, but elm browse. Before th-- 
close of February-, our own supplies had become so exhausted 
that we had to eat the attenuated hams of our starved-to-death 

From April 13th until May nth a little Englishman, whom 
we called Billy, and I, held down a townsite opposite Graham's 
Point, near where McCauleyville now is. We found parched 
of woods along the river down there, where we shot squirrels, 
prairie chickens, and rabbits, now and then, and when that sup- 
ply failed us, we alternated with boiled cat fish and tea, without 
salt or other condiments. 

I returned to St. Anthony in June, and went back to news- 
paper editing, thoroughly cured of my townsite fever; and. 
though more than forty-six years have passed, I have not seen a 
rod of that country since. The quarter share of lots coming to 
me, in three town sites we platted that winter, went for taxes 
many years ago, and all now are farms. 



This incident of my pioneer life in Minnesota is related 
to show the almost lunatic wildness here in the fifties. The rush 
for the new lands and business of the Northwest quite equaled 
the stampede to the gold fields of California in 1849. Sixteen or. 
eighteen steamboats often lay at the St. Paul landings at one 
time, discharging passengers and freight. May 7th, 1857, twen- 
ty-four steamboats were here. One boat, the War Eagle, brought 
up 814 people on a single trip. 

Of course, the newspaper business boomed in those times, 
with everything else. Nine new weekly newspapers were add- 
ed in 1855 to 'the fourteen already established in Minnesota. 
In 1856 eighteen more came. To these were added twenty-eigh: 
more in 1857. One daily, the Falls Evening News, was also 
started. The year 1857 began, therefore, with a total of forty- 
one weeklies and five dailies, and it closed with sixty-nine week- 
lies and six dailies. Of course, not nearly all of these were living 
at the close of 1857. But? think of this number of newspapers 
spread over the then sparsely populated territory of Minnesota! 


The foity-second weekly newspaper established in Minne- 
sota was mentioned by the Pioneer and Democrat of January 
15th, 1857, which said: "The first number of the Lake City 
Tribune, published and edited by Doughty, Tibbetts, and Dwelle, 
has come." The St. Paul Advertiser of January 17th also an- 
nounces the arrival of the first number. The Advertiser quotes 
it as late as June 12th, 1858. Its place of publication was Lake 
City, Wabasha county, and it probably was the first newsparer 
published there. From G. ^I. Dwelle, son of one of the proprie- 
tors of the paper, I learn that he has number one of volume one 
of the Tribune, and that it is dated January 3rd, 1857. It is 
treasured as an heir loom by his family. The editor of the paper 
was A. A. Norwood. Mr. Dwelle says he also has a copy of the 
date of September i8th, 1858, where the names of D. C. Story 
and A. A. Norwood appear as editors; and a copy dated May 
5th, i860, in which the name of Elijah Porter appears as edito; 
and publisher. Three copies of this paper, all that I know to be 
preserved, show thus three editorial changes in three years. 




was the fofty-third newspaper of Minnesota. Its proprietor was 
George F. Brott. one of the projectors of Bois des Sioux Citv 
and other towns surveyed on our expedition to the Red river of 
the North in 1857, and one of the chief promoters of St. Cloud, 
Stearns county, in its early days. This was the first newspaper 
started in St. Cloud. Its editor was my old friend, Henry W. 
Cowles, a talented young attorney, now deceased, who cam-: 
from one of the southern states and located first at St. Anthony, 
and afterward at St. Cloud. C. W. West was its publisher. It 
was independent in politics. 

As the earliest number of the paper in the Historical So- 
ciety Library is No. 7 of Volume I, dated Februar}^ 26th, 1857, 
its first issue would be dated January 15th. The History of 
Stearns County, however, claims that the paper began January 
1st, 1857, and that James Mowatt was the publisher. If so, 
he must have retired before February 26th, for that issue has 
the name of West at the head of its columns. As Mowatt was 
a good, practical printer, it is probable that really he was fore- 
man of the paper. Cowles soon resigned and was succeeded 
by James C. Shepley, another attorney. In the fall of 1857, 
Brott discontinued the Advertiser. It was run chiefly as a town- 
site promoter. 


Brott was about the best sample of the western hustler that 
this region has ever produced. His town assets were scattered 
promiscuously over northern ^linnesota. It used to be said that, 
no matter where Brott decided to plant a town, all he had to do 
was to step out into the surrounding hazel brush to find tools to 
do it with. Debts troubled him no more than rain troubles a 
duck. Why need debts worry him? He always had town lots 
to pay them with, until the crash of 1857 crippled him, when 
he drifted south, trading himself as he went into another for- 
tune. After the war, he settled in Washington, and a few months 
ago he died. Hustling, jovial, joking, impulsive George F. Brott, 
like Henry McKenty, was a product of the wild, free, pioneer 
Northwest. The last of such men went with the buffalo, and the 
mold in which they were cast was long since broken and swept 
away by the advancing tide of immigration. 





Most of the newspapers of territorial times in Minnesota 
were started to help sell lots in the young towns where they were 
located. They seldom had enough subscription and advertising 
backing to pay their running expenses and the livings of their 
editors. They were important helpers, however, in getting new 
towns on their feet ; and when one editor starved out or stepped 
higher politically, professionally, or in business ways, some new 
briefless lawyer, or other bright, but moneyless young man was 
willing to take his place, and to try for a lift in turn. So it came 
that early journalistic duties were performed mainly by a lot 
of peripatetic editors, many of them forceful, brilliant fellows, 
who afterward make high marks in business and the professions. 
Some of the advertisements, circulars, and editorials, that exploit- 
ed towns, used adjectives freely and misused truth shamefully. 
A burlesque of the highfalutin descriptions usually employed in 
such service was printed in the Cedar Falls Banner and repub- 
lished in the St. Paul Advertiser in 1857. It purported to give 
a start to a town called Hyrorum Rapids. "Hyrorumi," it said, 
"is situated in a lovely dell, on all sides of which picturesque 
rocks rear their vine-clad heads, their bases fanned by waving 
ferns and draped in golden moss. Winding around these pictur- 
esque features of the landscape, are verdant paths leading to 
cozy nooks, bespangled with flowers of such bewildering sweet- 
ness that a miser would fling aside his gold and tear his hair 
in despair in having but one nose ; he would sit down, fold 
up the wings of his fancy, and weep that there was nothing 
left for imagination. There are no advantages of location in 
this beautiful town. All lots, wherever situated, are five hund- 
dred' dollars each, and cheap at double the price." 


was the forty-fourth newspaper started in Minnesota. The 
first number of this newspaper seems to have been received 
by the St. Paul Advertiser April 25th, 1857. I have dated it 
April 20th, because after diligent search I can find no other 
record of its first issue than the Advertiser gives. Allowing 
five days for the Journal to get to St. Paul, and into the Ad- 



vertiser, would bring the date about April 20th, and so I start 
it at that. It was independent in politics, backed by Evans and 
Robbins, and was the first newspaper published in Rochester, 
Olmsted county. After printing the paper a short time, Evans 
and Robbins sold the plant to John H. Hyatt and Martin L. 

The St. Paul Pioneer of November 19th, 1857, announced 
its suspension on account of the financial failures following 
the downfall of the Ohio Life and Trust Company, w^hich oc- 
curred on August 25th of that year. On February 3rd, 1858. 
the material of the Journal was used to start a paper called 
the Rochester Free Press. I cannot find any of the files of 
the Olmsted County Journal, nor can I get any more details of 
its brief history. 


was the forty-fifth newspaper. About the'ioth of May, 1857, 
two brothers, Joseph and Thomas A. McMasters, started this 
newspaper at Read's Landing, Wabasha countv\ At that time, 
it was thought by some of its citizens that Read's Landing was 
too prosaic and practical a name to head the paper. The Mc- 
Masters brothers were of like mind, hence the romantic name of 
"Waumadee Herald." On the 12th of May, a short time after 
the first issue was worked off the press, the publication of the 
Herald came to a sudden and painful pause, for the accidental 
overturn of the sailboat Chippewa on the Mississippi at Read's 
Landing, in a gale of wind, drowned both of its proprietors. 
Four men were in the boat, two of whom were saved. 

About six Vv-eeks after this accident, Norman Stevens, a 
young printer, came to Read's Landing from Illinois, procured 
the aid of some of the business men of the village, bought the 
Herald plant of the father of the McMasters, and renewed the 
publication of the paper. As the St. Paul Advertiser of August 
15th, 1857, quotes the Waumadee Herald, it must have been 
continued by Stevens under that name for some time after his 
purchase. The History of Wabasha County claims that Stevens 
did not continue the Waumadee Herald, but started the Wabasha 
County Herald on June 27th, 1857, the date when he bought the 
material from the elder McMasters. Clearly the history is wrong. 



for not only does the Advertiser quote the Waumadee Herald 
as above, but Vol. 2, No. 22, of the Wabasha County Herald, 
dated January 29th, 1859, is in the Historical Society Library. 
Dating back from that number would bring Vol. i, No. I, of the 
Wabasha Herald to September 5th, 1857, which is only twenty 
days after the last recorded notice of the Waumadee Herald. The 
truth of the matter probably is that Stevens, tiring of the name 
"Waumadee Herald," cut it out and began volume one, number 
one, of the Wabasha County Herald on the fifth of September, 


was the forty-sixth newspaper in the territory'. It was the third 
paper started in the little town of Carimona, Fillmore county, 
within about sixteen months. The two previously started died in 
early infancy. The Transcript seems to have followed closely 
the demise of the Carimona Telegraph. The earliest notice of it 
that I find is in the St. Paul Advertiser of May 30th, 1857. It 
says it had '*just received the first number of the Western Trans- 
cript, published at Carimona by I. W. Lucas." It must have 
started, therefore, about May 20th, 1857. It did not last long, as 
the July nth, 1857, issue of the Advertiser announced its sus- 
pension. As near as I can find, that was, the final newspaper 
effort in Carimona. No numbers of the Western Transcript 
seem to be in existence. 


was the forty-seventh newspaper in my record. It was the six- 
columned successor of the Monticello Journal, mentioned in my 
history of 1856. Its first number was dated Thursday, May 21st, 
1857. The editors were Rev. S. T. Creighton, one of the pro- 
prietors of the town, and J. F. Bradley. C. M. Kenton was as- 
sistant editor, and also publisher and proprietor. It was neutral 
in politics. 

June i8th, 1857, Bradley withdrew, and Creighton and Ken- 
ton were announced as editors. In July following, Creighton 
and George F. Brott, of the St. Cloud Advertiser, got into a 
rather heated controversy over the relative population of Monti- 
cello and St. Cloud. Brott was chief promoter of the latter town. 
In reply to an article reflecting on Creighton, the latter came 



back at Brott in a way worthy of the best days of Goodhue and 
Parson Brown]_ow. Here is a sample extract : 

"Mr. Brott says something- about wringing the parson's 
nasal organ. We wonder what the parson would be doing in tlv^ 
meantime." He then winds up his article by representing the 
parson as fallen from grace, and that the relation which he sus- 
tained to the church in Monticello as pastor might be dissolved 
by mutual consent of the parties. "As to grace, we never did 
have, and have not now, much to brag about ; still, we have a 
comfortable hope of weathering the storm and at last having a 
home in that upper city, equal, if not superior, in size and beauty 
to St. Cloud. As regards our pastoral relations they still exist, 
and we are permitted to preach every Sunday to what appears 
to be a well satisfied congregation." 

But to conclude the matter, Brott said, "When we came to 
the Territory, he took us to his bosom and warmed us into life, 
and received in return a fatal sting! Warmed into life! We 
never bought a cent's worth of property of him, never sold him 
a cent's worth, never borrowed a dollar of him, nor loaned him a 
dollar; never acted with him one minute in any business what- 
ever. His interests have always been opposed to ours, and he 
has acted accordingly. If this is heat, Good Lord, save us from 
the cold!" S. T. Creighton was a ]\Iethodist minister; I knew 
him well. 

September 12th, 1857, Creighton resigned the senior editor- 
ship of the Times, and was succeeded by Edward Hartley. Ken- 
ton still remained as assistant editor, publisher, and proprietor. 
At the same date, the publication day of the Times was changed 
to Saturday. The issue of October 24th appeared with Hartley's 
name missing. Kenton remained sole editor and proprietor. 
March 3d, 1858, the publication day was changed from Saturday' 
to W^ednesday. 

June 26th, after a suspension of six weeks, the Times ap- 
peared with a new dress. Kenton was announced as publisher, 
and the place of editor and proprietor was vacant, though it wa? 
generally understood that Kenton still remained editor. In Jan- 
uary, 1859, there came the usual number of half sheets to carry 
legal advertisements to a safe conclusion, and on February i6th 
the Times died, and the remains went to Z. M. Brown, one ot 
the proprietors of Monticello. 



was the forty-eighth newspaper established in the Territory. The 
first number was dated May 27th, 1857. It w^as printed at St. 
Peter, Nicollet county. William C. Dodge was its editor and 
proprietor. It was a Republican weekly of eight columns at the 
beginning; but, on November i8th, finding it carried too much 
.sail, it contracted to seven columns. -Even that spread was found 
too much for the locality and times, and soon afterward it was 
temporarily discontinued. 

April 20th, 1859, an alliance was made with J. K. Moore, 
and the name changed to St. Peter Free Press, without losing 
volume or number in the process. Dodge and - ^Moore seemed to 
be doing finely together until December 21st, 1859, when the 
plant was totally destroyed by fire with no insurance. That end- 
ed the St. Peter Free Press. The St. Paul Advertiser called it 
the Salt Petre Flea Press, showing that Wheelock began early 
to invent words to fit things he didn't like. 


was the forty-ninth new^spaper. It w-as the second German pa- 
per established in the Territory. Frederick Orthw^ein, who Gtart- 
ed the Minnesota Deutsche Zeitung in 1855, Albert Wolff, 
were the originators of the Minnesota Thalboten. It was a small 
Democratic quarto, and appeared at Chaska, Carver county, 
during the first week in June, 1857. The Zeitung was started 
by the Democrats, Orthwein soon went over to the Republicans. 
Then he turned back to the Democrats. The departure of Orth- 
wein from the Zeitung was thus heralded by the St. Paul Min- 
nesotian: "The ^linnesota Zeitung has taken a resting spell by 
getting clear of its old editor, Orthwein, and is out agam in 
fine style as a Republican paper." 

Shortly after the Thalboten was started, the Democrats of 
the nineteenth district, consisting of Carver and Wright counties, 
nominated Orthwein for the House of the Minnesota legislature. 
He was defeated at the fall election, and early in 1858 he pulled 
up stakes in Chaska and returned to St. Paul, where he had still 
another paper, which he called the ^linnesota National Demo- 
krat. Pie filled out the unexpired subscription list of the former 


with the latter paper. No issues of the Thalboten are in the 
Historical Library, nor can I find any trace of them elsewhere. 
Orthwein's trading his Democracy to the Republicans in 1856, 
and then switching back again, infuriated John P. Owens, the 
rough and ready editor of the Minnesotian, who was the St. Paul 
Republican standard-bearer. 


The first appearance of this paper in the Historical Library 
is at number forty of volume one, dated March 6th, 1858. This 
would date the first issue on June 6th, 1857, which is about the 
date of the first issue of the Minnesota Thalboten of Chaska, 
which history says was started by Orthwein and Albert Wolff 
the first week of June, 1857. I think the Thalboten was issued 
first, and so I have numbered the Dem.okrat tlie fiftieth newspaper 
in general course, being the third German paper started in the 

As no numbers of the Thalboten are in existence, and as 
Orthwein probably had his hands full with the work of starting 
the Demokrat in St. Paul, I incline to the belief that Albert 
Wolff, who had taken a government claim in Carver county, was 
in charge of the Thalboten at the outset of its career. The Thai • 
boten could not have lasted long, for I find the jMarch 6th, 1858, 
issue of the Demokrat filling out its unexpired subscription list. 


I have to go to files of other 1857 newspapers to get the date 
of the beginning of the Mankato Independent, the fifty-firsc 
newspaper started in Minnesota Territory. The St. Paul Adver- 
tiser, that faithful chronicler of 1857 newspapers, says, in its 
issue of June 13th, that the first number of the Mankato Inde- 
pendent had arrived. The June loth issue of the Valley Herald 
makes the same announcement, and the Pioneer and Democrat 
of June i8th says the same. Therefore it was probably begun 
some time during the first week in June, 1857. The first issue 
that the Historical Society has is dated August 9th, i860, and is 
Volume 4, No. 5, of a semi- weekly published Monday and Thurs- 
day. At that date, Hensley and Gunning were publishers and 



proprietors, and it was a four-page, five-column, Republican 
sheet. The History of the Minnesota Valley says that Hensley 
and Gunning started the paper July 8th, 1862. I find it wa? 
issued on Tuesdays and Fridays; and on October 4th, 1862, it 
was a weekly newspaper published on Saturday. 

Mr. Hensley died December 20th, 1862. The paper was 
continued until July nth, 1863, when it was sold to Charles H. 
Slocum, the last publisher of the St. Anthony Express, a paper 
whose mortuary exercises I conducted in May, 1861. Slocum 
bought the press and material of the Independent, and interred 
the defunct enterprise with appropriate ceremonies; and on July 
17th, 1863, began volume one, number one, of a seven-column 
paper called the ]\Iankato Union, before the hearse which had 
borne the Independent had fairly got out of the already crowded 
graveyard of early journalism. The Union finally became the 
property of Gen. J. H. Baker, who merged it with the ^lankato 
Record, and the Union became the Free Press which is still 


was the fifty-second of the rapidly increasing newspapers of 
Minnesota. This is another paper of which I can get no trace, 
except through histor}' and contemporaneous journals. The St. 
Paul Advertiser of July 4th, 1857, ^^y^> "The second number of 
the Emigrant Aid Journal has come." This will date the first 
issue about the middle of June. It was printed at Nininger, Da- 
kota county, and was independent, as usual, in politics. Hon. 
Ignatius Donnelly was the originator, and A. W. ^McDonald, at 
one time connected with the Scientific American, was its editor. 
It is said that the citizens of Nininger contributed one thousand 
dollars the first year to give the paper a footing. The St. Paul 
Advertiser quotes the paper as late as April loth, 1858. How 
long it lived after that, is uncertain. It is generally understood, 
however, that it was about two years old when it died. 


was the fifty-third newspaper started in Minnesota. It was pub- 
lished in Hokah, Houston county. I have had an unusually vex- 



atious hunt for the scattered fragments of this newspaper. No 
early files seem to be in existence. Volume i, No. 31, the earliest 
number that I have seen, is dated March 27th, 1858, and would 
bring Vol. i, No. i, to the date of August 29th, 1857. There 
must have been some of the temporary suspensions usual in get- 
ting new newspapers under way in those days, as the St. Paul 
Advertiser of July i8th, 1857, announces the appearance of the 
first number, which must therefore have been issued about Julv 
loth, 1857. It was a four-page, seven-column, independent pa- 
per, run in its first desultory issues by Charles Reynolds. Late 
in 1858 or early in 1859, it was suspended entirely. H. Ostran- 
der, a practical printer and graduate from the office of the Albany 
Evening Journal, an indefatigable hustler, came to Hokah, calked 
the open seams of the stranded Chief, pried it off the bar, and on 
April 26th, 1859, floated it anew. When he couldn't pay for 
help, he ran the craft alone. May 23rd, 1865, after about six 
years of that sort of struggle, the Chief turned up its toes and 

Along in the seventies, another Hokah Chief with a new vol- 
ume and number, was started. This on January i8th, 1893, be- 
came the present Houston County Chief, which is still going. 


was the fifty-fourth newspaper in regular course. This is still 
another of which I can find no copies. It was published at Albert 
Lea, Freeborn county. The St. Paul Advertiser, in its issue of 
July 25th, 1857, mentioned the receipt of the first number. Tne 
St. Paul Pioneer of November 19th announced its temporary 
suspension, owing to financial troubles ; and the St. Paul Adver- 
tiser of ]\[ay 29th, 1858, said the Star had died, and charged it^ 
decease to the town proprietors. The History of Freeborn Coun- 
ty says that Swineford and Gray began the Star on July nth. 
1857. The plant was soon sold under foreclosure of mortgage 
held by George S. Ruble, one of the proprietors of the town or 
Albert Lea. Concerning the early newspapers published there. 
Isaac Botsford says in the Freeborn County Eagle of February 
i8th, i860: "Swineford and Gray continued the Southern ]Min- 
nesota Star thirty-nine weeks, then H. F. Gray published one 


number, making forty full numbers for the Star." It was in- 
dependent in politics. 

The Freeborn County Standard, in its issue of May 14th, 
1868, says: ''The Minnesota Star was first issued July iith, 
1857, and ran about eight months, and died for lack of Demo- 
cratic support. The press and material lay idle about six months. 
It was then sold under mortgage foreclosure by George S. Ruble, 
and went to Alfred P. Swineford, one of the former proprietor'> 
of the Star. With it he started the Freeborn County Eagle. 
Isaac Botsford succeeded to this.'' Mr. Botsford is the man who 
announced in his prospectus that he would take for subscriptions 
anything that grew that he could use, and everything that couli 
be made, except counterfeit money. 


was the fifty-fifth newspaper. It was begun in M'antorville, 
Dodge county, July i6th, 1857. The founder of the paper was 
J. E. Bancroft. It was independent in politics. C. W. Blaisdell 
bought a press and material for a paper at Wasioja, a few miles 
from Mantorville, and there was considerable rivalry between 
him and Bancroft for a start. 

Bancroft's outfit was loaded into a lumber wagon, behind a 
yoke of oxen, and in crossing the Zumbro river, near Oronoco, 
the wagon capsized, mixing the type into pi, and wetting down 
the type before it was needed for the press. This gave Blaisdell 
so much advantage that he thought there was no need for special 
hurry. Bancroft, however, was a hustler. He had things pretty 
well advanced when a man from Wasioja came alono- about half 
drunk, on the morning of July 15th, and bragged how Wasioja 
was coming out ahead of ^Mantorville in a newspaper way. Ban- 
croft pumped him until he found that Blaisdell intended to start 
his paper on the 17th. Hardly was his informant out of sight 
on his way to Rochester, when Bancroft enlisted his wife and ail 
hands for'a day and night hustle to get out the Express. MeaU 
were brought to the office, and everybody worked with such small 
waste of time that, when the Wasioja man came along the next 
afternoon, the Express was on the street, and he was presente(l 
with a copy to take home, with the compliments of Bancroft an'i 






Mantorville. That is how volume one, number one, of the Man- 
torville Express came to be dated July i6th, and the nrst issue of 
the Wasioja Gazette July 17th. 

July 31st, 1858, A. LaDue became associated with Bancroft as 
publisher. February 5th, 1859, LaDue retired. July 30th, 1859, 
P. C. Compton joined Bancroft, and the paper was enlarged to 
seven columns. March 24th, i860, Compton withdrew, and Ban- 
croft ran the paper alone until March, 1866, when he died. His 
wife went on with the paper, without the lapse of a single issue, 
but hesitated to let her name appear at the head of the editorial 
columns until her management had proved a success. July 27th. 
1866, a little over four months after the death of Bancroft, the 
name of his wife, C. E. F. Bancroft, appeared at the head of tho 
paper. She continued to edit and manage it until July 23rd, 
1869. Then began a series of editorial changes, of which I have 
counted sixteen after Bancroft up to November ist, 1881. The 
Express survived them all, however, and is still running. 


John E. Bancroft began the Mantorville Express July i6th, 
1857, as already stated. He came from Pennsylvaria to Wis- 
consin and then to Mantorville, the year before starting his paper. 
He was not a man of strong physique, and the hard, self-sacrific- 
ing work of building his newspaper on firm foundations so told 
on his stock of vitality that he died in the spring of 1866. The 
editor of another paper, writing of Bancroft, said : 

We do not know that he left an enemy in the world, yet he was out- 
spoken against vice, firm in the maintenance of principle, and unsparing" in 
his denunciations of wrong. His character needs not the aid of eulogy, his 
life was the best eulcgium. He lived long enough to secure a permanent 
and honorable place in the history of our country and state, and a lasting 
remembrance in the hearts of those who knew him best. 


was the fifty-sixth newspaper established in the Territory. The 
Historical Society does not have any of its issues, nor can T 
find any elsewhere. July 25th, 1857, the St. Paul Advertiser 
announced the receipt of its first number, and my account of 


the publication of the Mantorville Express fixes the exact date 
as July 17th. 1857. C. W. Blaisdell was editor and proprietor. 
Like the Express, the Gazette was independent in poHtics. The 
Express of July 24th, 1858, announced S. L. Pierce, a well 
known attorney, formerly of St. Paul, but now of Redwood 
Falls, Minn., as associate editor of the Gazette during volume 
two, then just beginning. The Gazette lived a little over two 
years, and its place of publication was Wasioja, Dodge county. 

About the last of October, 1859, Blaisdell moved his Ga- 
zette plant to Rochester, and began the Rochester City News, 
but finally sold it to U. B. Shaver, who took it to Kasson and 
started the Dodge County Republican, Mr. Pierce did most 
of the editorial work on the News while it was running. Blais- 
dell was a good printer, and after leaving Rochester he went 
to Chicago, and was for a number of years in charge of the 
advertising work on the Chicago Times. He retired some years 
ago and made his heme at Los Angeles, California. 


S. L. Pierce was born March 6th, 1832, at Trenton. Ohio. 
He studied law with M. B. Chadwick, and at the age of twenty- 
one was admitted to the bar. He moved to Wasioja in 1856, 
and lived there and at Mantorville until 1872, when he moved 
to St. Paul. He practiced law in this city until 1902, and then 
went to Redwood Falls, where he now lives. Fie held the 
office of county attorney of Dodge county for two terms, froei 

Mr. Pierce always had a strong bent towards journalism. 
Besides acting as editor for the Wasioja Gazette and Rochester 
News, as before stated, he wrote for the ?^Iantor\'ille Express 
and assisted both Mr. and Mrs. Bancroft in editing and pub- 
lishing it. While living in Mantorville, he contributed regularly, 
over the signature of "Occasional," to the Winona Republican. 


is the name I have given to the fifty-seventh newspaper begun 
in Alinnesota. The Sentinel No. i was the seventeenth in reg- 
ular course, and its history has been given among the newspapers 



of 1855. After ^lerritt and Hutchins sold the press and mate- 
rials of the Sentinel, Xo. i, to Alexis Bailly, it went to Hastings, 
as has been stated. The Gazette was then started by N. V. 
and C. Bennett, and ^Merritt went into the hotel business. Tiring 
of that business, he bought the Gazette, according to the St. 
Paul Advertiser, about June ist, 1857, and ran it under that 
name until about August ist of that year, as the iVdvertiser quotes 
the Gazette as late as July 25tli. The issue of August ist of 
the Advertiser then makes its first mention of the Sentinel, 
so that must have been about the time the change was made. 

Bennett, in the meantime, formed another alliance with 
William Colvill, afterward v.'ell known as the colonel of the 
First Minnesota regiment, so that the latter became editor of 
Sentinel No. 2, as he formerly had been of No. i. Bennett also 
became its publisher, and, without further ceremony, the vol- 
ume and numbers of Red Wing Sentinel, No. i, were picked 
up and carried on, the same as though there had been no sale 
of the press and material of the old Sentinel to Bailly, no vale- 
dictory of the Sentinel, as noted by the Pioneer and Democrat of 
j\lay 15th, 1855, and no intervening publication of the ^linne- 
sota Gazette to supply its place. 

On March 26th, 1859, Merritt sold again, and on April gtli, 
1859, E. A. Littlefield and Martin Maginnis, the latter after- 
ward delegate to Congress from ^Montana, became the publish- 
ers, Colvill remaining as editor. On February 4th, i860, Col- 
vill sold his interest to W. W. Phelps, who had been the mem- 
ber of Congress from the Red Wing district, because, as he 
said in his retiring editorial, he foresaw a Democratic storm 
coming in the Charleston convention. In the next issue of the 
Sentinel, Phelps appeared as editor. On August 15th, i860, 
Littlefield dropped out, and Maginnis went on alone as publish- 
er, Phelps remaining as editor. 

At a meeting noted for its patriotism, held April 23rd, 1861, 
in Red Wing, a company called the Goodhue Volunteers was 
organized, and William Colvill was unanimously elected captain, 
and ?^Iartin ■Maginnis first sergeant. The next day the Sen- 
tinel, at Vol. 5, Nq. 39, April 24th, 1861, was discontinued. It- 
material was sold to James Parker, and made the basis of the 
Goodhue Vokmteer, a patriotic paper which did excellent ser- 




vice for the Union, until it, in turn, died near vhe close of 
the war. I find in the issue of the Volunteer of Mav 6th, 1863. 
that the exact date when the material of the Sentinel was purr 
chased by the Volunteer was Alay 3rd, 1861. 


W. W. Phelps was born in Oakland, ]\richig-an, in 1822; 
was graduated at the University of Michigan, and studied law; 
and was admitted to the bar in 1854. While a mem.ber of the 
Michigan legislature, he was appointed register of the United 
States Land Office at Red Wing, which was opened February 
1st, 1855. He was elected to Congress when Minnesota became 
a state, and serv^ed twice as mayor of Red Wing. He was a 
Democrat of the old school, and did much to give an elevated 
tone to early journalism. He was also ver}^ useful in placing 
Red Wing on the solid foundations she now enjoys. He died 
August 3rd, 1873. 


was the fifty-eighth newspaper established in the Territory, 
The St. Paul Advertiser of August 29th, 1857, says, ''The Roch- 
ester Democrat and Olmsted County Journal are the only papers 
running in Rochester, Olmsted county." Volume i, No. 33, of 
March i8th, 1858, being the first number of the Democrat that 
I can find, I am compelled to count back, for Volume i. No. i. 
In that way, I make the beginning August 6th, 1857. The last 
issue in the Historical Library bears the date of October 21st, 
1858. In that number Charles W. Cotton, the owner and editor, 
says that he is going to Winona, where on Wednesday, Novem- 
ber 17th, 1858, he will begin the Winona Democrat. As he 
, took his press and material wdth him, the Rochester Democrat 
died. It was a four-page, seven-column Democratic sheet. 


was the fifty-ninth newspaper. I can find but few traces of it. 
The St. Paul Advertiser of August 29th, 1857, says it has re- 


ceived the first two numbers. It must, therefore, have been 
started early in August of that year. The Advertiser quotes 
it on December 5th of the same year, which is the last heard of 
it in the newspapers. No copies of it are to be found. The 
Bulletin was started in Cannon Falls, Goodhue county, by R. 
A. Hoag and Brother, with the plant of the Cannon Falla 
Gazette. x\t the close of 1857, seeing better prospects in North- 
field, Rice county, they moved the press and m.aterial to that 
place, and started the Northfield Journal. In August, 1862, R. 
A. Hoag enlisted in the army, and three years later he came 
out a captain. In 1870 he removed to his farm near Northfield. 


was the sixtieth newspaper. The first that I find of it in the 
Historical Library is No. 26 of Volume 2, January 29th, 1859. 
Again I have to count back to get Volume i. No. i. Assuming 
no suspensions, I find the date August 6th, 1857, which must 
be very nearly correct. It was a four-page, seven-column. Re- 
publican paper; and Columbus Stebbins was its owner, editor, 
and publisher. It was the second weekly newspaper established 
in Dakota county. Stebbins ran it until its union wath the 
Minnesota Conserver, November 24th, 1866. The Independent 
and Conserv-er then died, the union of the two papers pro- 
ducing the Gazette under the firm name of Todd and Stebbins. 


was a native of Indiana. Though of only a common school 
education, he possessed such natural talent that he uplifted and 
bettered journalism whenever he used his pen. He was the 
friend and exponent of all that would best advance the interests 
of Minnesota. A close attendant to his editorial duties, he 
made a bright county and local newspaper. He laid the foun- 
dation of the Hastings Independent broad and strong, and it 
lasted well. He died December 21st, 1878. 

The sixty-first ^Minnesota newspaper, the latest established 
prior to the bursting of the mid-fifty boom in August, 1857. 




Number 2 of its first volume is in the Historical Library, 
and is dated August 15th, 1857: It began, therefore, on August 
8th, 1857 ; and it was founded by Hon. L. L, Baxter. It was a 
four-page, six-column, Republican paper at the beginning. 
William R. Baxter, who was killed at Guntown, Mississippi, 
during the Rebellion, was editor, and Horace Baxter publisher. 
The last week of November, 1857, Colonel John H. Stevens 
and William S. Chapman bought the Register, and it became 
Democratic. The name of H. O. Hammond appeared as the 
first publisher under Stevens and Chapman, Colonel Stevens 
being the editor. May ist, 1858, Hammond retired, and on 
May 15th Marshall Robinson became publisher. 

In September, 1862, Robinson enlisted to help quell the In- 
dian outbreak, and, as a measure of safety, the Register suspend- 
ed publication until January, 1863, when it was printed a short 
time by Frank Daggett. Colonel Stevens still remained editor, 
however, until August, 1863, when he sold the paper to G. K. 
Gilbert and A. J. Snyder. They ran it about six months, when 
it suspended. In November, 1864, Gilbert sold his interest to 
Snyder. In May, 1866, Snyder leased the paper to C. A. Ben- 
nett, who published it as the Glencoe Weekly Register until Feb- 
ruary 27th, 1868. At that time he sold it to Frank Belfoy, who 
ran it until April 2nd, 1868, when he tried to turn it into the Mc- 
Leod County Register; but at Volume i, No. 13, of the new is- 
sue, it ran into the ground, or, as Colonel Stevens tersely phrased 
it, "It dried up." Belfoy afterward started the first paper ever 
printed in Meeker county. 

February 25th, 1869, James C. Edson started the Glencoe 
Register, No. 2, as volume one, number one. In that issue he 
gave a detailed history of Glencoe Register. No. i, of which the 
above account is an abstract. This number is on file in the vaults 
of the Historical Society. 

The Register, No. 2, was continued by Edson to Volume 
4. No. 12, May i6th, 1872, when he sold the plant to Liberty 
Hall, who conducted it to Volume 7, No. 36, November 4th, 1875. 
The next issue thereafter was enlarged to eight columns, and 
then the volume was jumped from 7 to 19, with the probable in- 



tention of covering- the lifetime of Register No. i. That paper, 
however,. ran only from August 8th, 1857, to Volume 9, No. 37, 
making eight years and thirty-seven weeks of continuous exist- 
ence, in about ten years and eight months of time, including irs 
Indian War and other temporary suspensions meantime. Regis- 
ter No. 2 is still running. 


Colonel John H. Stevens was born in Canada, June 13th, 
1820; was educated in the common schools ; enlisted in the 
United States Army during the ^Mexican War ; served through 
it, and came to ^linnesota in 1849; and was the first settler on the 
west side of the river in what is now Minneapolis. The house 
he built stood on part of the ground now occupied by the Union 
railway depot. It stands at present in 2vlinnehaha park, belonging 
to the city, having been drawn there by thousands of the school 
children of Minneapolis, working by relays, in the spring of 1896. 
The excitement of the day was too much for Colonel Stevens, 
and he suffered a stroke of paralysis in consequence, from which 
he never recovered. He died May 28th, 1900. 

Colonel Stevens was a born farmer. He loved the vocation 
as he did his life. Many a time, while editor of the Express 
over on the St. Anthony side of the river, I have gone to him 
for local items. He never failed to respond with from one to 
two columns ; and the best stock and biggest squash, pumpkins, 
and watermelons of the farms around ?^Iinneapolis, were pro- 
lific subjects of his graphic sketches. Besides the Glencoe Reg- 
ister, he conducted the Minneapolis Chronicle, Farmer and Gar- 
dener, Farmers' Tribune, and the Farm, Stock, and Home. As 
president of the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, he did 
much to introduce superior methods of farming and stock-rais- 

He was the first register of deeds of Hennepin county, and 
served several terms in both branches of the Legislature of 
Minnesota. His book of "Personal Recollections" is full of val- 
uable chronicles of early days, and will become more and more 
useful as tlie years go by. During the Indian uprising of 1862 
he served as brigadier general of the militia sent to the front to 
subdue the savages. Through his position as the first claimholder 


where the largest part of MinneapoUs now stands, Colonel Stev- 
ens had the chance of his life to die a millionaire. His unselfish 
efforts to foster and upbuild Minneapolis, how^ever, prevented 
this. He died in comfortable circumstances, however, the same 
genial, free-handed, noble-hearted man that he had lived through 
his long life of nearly eighty years. 


Of the nineteen newspapers established in Minnesota be- 
tween January ist and August 25th, 1857, ^^^Y 0"^^ the Man- 
torville Express, survives. Indeed, few of these papers sur- 
vived the boom that brought them into existence. 

The ballooning of the journalism of those days was very 
aptly burlesqued by John P. Owens, in the Daily Minnesotian of 
May i8th, 1857. I believe that I cannot close this part of my 
paper more appropriately than by quoting a portion of the article. 
The supposed newspaper of which he wTote was named "The 
Exponent of Morality, Truth, and Justice." The paper had 
become so popular in the new city of Olean that its publishers 
were compelled to issue an extra prospectus. They said: 

We come before the tremendous and hourly increasing number of our 
readers this morning, in an enlarged form. Our advertising friends have 
actually compelled us to make room for them, two of our clerks having 
been crushed to death in the crowd of patrons who thronged the counting- 
room with advertisements. We have added forty-five columns to our pa- 
per. Our city circulation is immense. We employ two hundred composi- 
tors and fifty pressmen. Three editors are constantly at work, and we are 
in hopes, as soon as we can procure workmen, to be able to issue a semi- 
daily the size of a bed blanket. 

N. B. — Thirty carriers wanted immediately. 

P. S. — Wanted, a partner with a little money. 

P. P. S. — Wanted, Fifty compositors. Lots in Olean given for work! ! ! 
Great inducements to printers ! ! ! ! 

Fifth Paper, August 25TH, 1857, to May iith, 1858. 

The old time editor was a thorough pioneer. He helped lay 
the foundations of ^linnesota deep and strong, and was as hon- 
orable in his calling as the early merchant, doctor, lawyer, or 
business man. Politically, he was a partisan, and a firm and hon- 



est believer in the adage, "To the victor belong the spoils/' To 
keep body and soul in touch, he needed the infrequent doles of 
mail-letting advertisements and the Territorial and County print- 
ing of those times, to supplement his attenuated returns from 
subscriptions, advertising ,and job work ; and when his party was 
in power he carefully corralled such helps. 

Where a party fight was on, he was ready and usually pret- 
ty rough ; where a public or party service was needed, he was 
expected to be the pack-horse to carry supplies. In the commun- 
ity at large, he was the genial, good-natured squash advertiser, 
for which he usually got the squash. The situation was rather 
broadly described by an early editor who printed this notice: 
"Our family being now settled in housekeeping, we will take for 
subscriptions anything we can wear or that hogs can eat." 

A man of infinite resources was the old time editor. He was 
a rare combination of editorial writer, type-setter, and printer's 
devil. As a rule, he had the spirit and grit of an early editor of 
the Freeborn County Standard. When some miscreant whom he 
had scored tried to even up by stealing the lever of his hand 
press, he set up a scalding note explanatory of the delay in get- 
ting out his paper, unlocked the editorial form, put it in, and then 
worked off the edition with a fence rail. 

But amid all his hustling wear and tear, no editor of any 
class, time, or kind, preserved a larger measure of integrity. I 
could name some of those sturdy pioneer editors who threw up 
their jobs rather than support men or measures dictated by bood- 
ling newspaper owners. 

Do not understand by this tribute to his common honesty 
that I praise the early editor as a saint. He often said and did 
things that would neither sound nor look well inside a church: 
but it was never said of him, as has been too often said of the 
modern editor, that it was his vocation to "raise hell and sell news- 
papers." Nor did he pander to the animal instincts of human 
nature by watching the dirty debris of society to see where the 
devil would break out next, and have a reporter on hand to tell 
about it. 

Giving the modern newspaper full credit for the mighty 
power it wields for good in the affairs of men, the scandals it too 
often prints spread moral disease among the young, with tre- 



niendous counteracting effect. It is human nature to want to see 
into hell as far as possible, but there is a place in the way where 
the bars should be put up before our boys and girls and not re- 
moved until they come to years of discretion. 


August 25th, 1857, the Ohio Life and Trust Company of 
New York, with a branch in Cincinnati, failed. It had liabilities 
of nearly seven million dollars. With it went down a large num- 
ber of banks. These failures started the financial crash of 1857. 

Undeterred by this disaster, Lucius F. Hubbard, afterward 
a general in the Union army, and governor of Minnesota, start- 
ed a newspaper in Red Wing. He named it 


Its first issue was dated September 4th,' 1857, and it was 
the sixty-second weekly begim in Minnesota Territory. That its 
foundations, even in those insecure times, were built deep and 
strong, is shown by the fact that it is one of the few Minnesota 
newspapers which survived the trying crisis of 1857 and is yet in 
good working order. It started as a four-page, seven column 
sheet; and it then was. and still is, Republican in politics. 

November 20th, 1857, F. D. Meredith, who died some years 
ago, became associated with Hubbard, and the firm name was 
Hubbard and Meredith until October ist, 1858. Then Meredith 
retired, and Mr. Hubbard went on alone until August 12th, 1859, 
when Charles L. Davis joined Hubbard, and the managers be- 
came Hubbard and Davis, the former being the main editor. At 
that time, the name was changed to the Goodhue County Repub- 

December 19th, 1861, ]\Ir. Hubbard enlisted in the Fiftli 
Minnesota Regiment, and the firm of Hubbard and Davis was 
dissolved. Mr. ^leredith then returned, and the name of the firm 
again became Hubbard and Meredith, the former being the pro- 
prietor, and the latter the editor and manager during the absence 
<>f Mr. Hubbard. :\Iarch 28th, 1862, the ownership and editorial 
management went to C. L. Davis, and Meredith once more re- 



tired. Then Davis enlisted in the Tenth Minnesota Infantry, and 
September 19th, 1862, placed E. A. Littlefield in. charge, who be- 
came the editor. At that date the paper was cut to six columns, 
on account of the hard times. 

May 27th, 1864, Littlefield turned over the paper to Colonel 
William Colvill, satisfied, as he said, that there was *'more honor 
than profit in running- a country nev/spaper. " Colvill printed a 
salutatory tersely characteristic of the hero of Gettysburg. It 
ran as follows : ''With this issue I take charge of the Republi- 
can. Correspondence should be addressed accordingly." 

August 26th, 1864, the paper went back to the seven-column 
issue, Davis still retaining his interest. March 30th, 1866, H. 
K. Parker became editor and part proprietor. August 9th, 1867, 
William R. Snider bought half of the paper, and August 9th, 
1868, he bought the remaining half. June loth, 1869, T. H. 
Perkins, of the Lake City Leader, bought a half interest of Sni- 
der, and September 30th, 1869, Snider sold the other half to S. 
P. Jennison, the firm becoming Jennison and Perkins. December 
26th, 1878, Perkins retired, and Mr. Jennison became sole pro- 
prietor. He continued alone until July 29th, 1880, when there 
was a combination of the Goodhue County Republican with B. 
B. Herbert's Advance. The Advance was printed Wednesdays, 
and the Republican Saturdays. 

November 29th, 1884, the Republican, the Advance, and the 
Sun, united under the name of the Red Wing Printing Company. 
They published the papers Wednesdays and Saturdays, as before, 
with Herbert and Tams Bixby as editors. 

October 12th, 1885, the first number of the Red Wing Daily 
Republican was issued. January ist, 1886, Bixby retired, and 
Herbert and Jennison became editors and proprietors. In No- 
vember, 1889. Herbert sold his interest to Jennison; and in 
March, 1894, Bixby bought Jennison's interest, and has continued 
the management to the present time. 


Lucius F. Hubbard was born in Troy, New York, January 
26th, 1836. He came to Red Wing in 1857, and started the Red 
Wing Republican on September 4th of that year, as before stated. 
December 19th, 1861, he enlisted in the Union army as a private 



in Company A, Fifth Infantry. He was made captain, February 
5th, 1862; lieutenant colonel, March 24th, 1862; colonel, August 
31st, 1862; and brigadier general, December i6th, 1864, for gal- 
lant services in the battle of Nashville. He was in more than 
twenty battles of the war, was slightly wounded two or three 
times, and was mustered out at ^Mobile in September, 1865. He 
was register of deeds for Goodhue county from 1858 to 'i860, 
state senator from 1871 to 1875, and governor of ^linnesota from 
January loth, 1882, to January 5th, 1887. A sterling ma^i in 
every sense is Governor Hubbard. He is now a resident and 
business man of St. Paul. 


was the sixty-third newspaper established within a little more 
than eight years after the organization of ^linnesota as a Ter- 
ritory. The Waumadee Herald had come to an untimely end at 
Read's Landing, by the drownmg of its founders, the McMasters 
brothers, in May, 1857, as previously stated. With the aid of 
some of the business men of Read's Landing, Norman E. Stev- 
ens, a young printer from Illinois, had purchased the press and 
material of the father of the McMasters brothers, and June 27th, 
1857, he began the issue of the Waumadee Herald anew. 

That the renewal was called the Waumadee Herald is proved 
by the fact that the August 13th, 1857, issue of the St. Paul Ad- 
vertiser quotes it. That it was not called the Wabasha Herald at 
that time, is shown by the additional fact that the first issue of the 
paper with Wabasha in the name, and the first issue in fact that 
I can find anywhere, being No. 22 of \''olume 2 in the Historical 
Library, dated Januar}- 29th, 1859, would carry No. I of 
Volume I no farther back than September 5th, 1857. No. 22 of 
Volume 2, was a seven-column, Republican sheet, and was named 
the Wabasha County Read's Landing Herald. I have therefore 
fixed September 5th, 1857, instead of June 27th, 1857, as the 
beginning of the Wabasha County Herald. 

Wabasha and Read's Landing are towns quite near each 
other, and at the time the Herald was started they were rivals. 
To satisfy both towns, it seems that Stevens printed "The Wa- 
basha County Herald" across the head of the paper, while above 
the cut in the middle of the heading he inserted, in smaller letters, 


"Read's Landing." These words came also just before the date, 
and also at the head of the editorial columns. Evidently, it was 
intended to be a paper for both towns, with Read's Landing its 
place of publication. Such details are rather dry, but they seem 
necessary in giving the send-off to some of these early news- 

July 23rd, 1859, C. W. Wheaton became associated with 
Stevens as editor. He lasted until March ist, i860, when he 
retired. On August 11 th following, the small lettered "Read's» 
Landing," above the cut on the title-page, disappeared; but tlie 
name was still retained elsewhere in the paper. Evidently this 
lapse was discovered by some jealous resident of Read's, for on 
December 15th there was a general acrobatic mix of Read's and 
Wabasha in the title-page heading, which continued to V^olume 
4, No. 15, January 5th, 186 1. The History of Wabasha says that 
about this time the paper was moved to Wabasha, to take the 
place of the Journal, which had gone to Lake City. 

The file of the weekly edition ends in the Historical Library 
at January 12th, 1861 ; and on the 30th a semi- weekly edition 
takes its place, beginning with Volume i. No. i, and running 
four pages of five columns each. March 13th, 1861, the paper 
was enlarged to six columns, and it so remained with "Wabasha 
County Herald" at the head, and "Wabasha and Read's Land- 
ing" the places of publication, and N. E. Stevens editor and pub- 
lisher. This arrangement continued to No. 42 of Volume 2, 
July 19th, 1862. Stevens then disposed of his subscription list 
to U. B. Shaver, publisher of the Pepin Wisconsin Press ; but he 
retained his press and material, and with it started an unsuccess- 
ful newspaper venture at Plainview, Wabasha county. He also 
remained associate editor with Shaver, in conducting the Herald, 
the firm name being Shaver and Stevens, editors, and U. B. 
Shaver, publisher. 

At No. 47 of Volume 2, x\ugust 6th, 1862, the semi-weekly 
experiment of the Herald ended ; but the numbering of the semi- 
weekly continued, the paper remaining the six columns in size of 
the former semi-weekly. October 8th to December nth, 1862, 
the papers mix in the files. At the latter date the firm of pub- 
lishers became Shaver and Stevens; and the editorial arrange- 
ment, Stevens and Shaver. This continued until the issue 01 



July 9th, 1863, when the numbers seemed to change from the 
semi-weekly to the weekly. The weekly was then enlarged to 
seven columns, and became a full-fledged Wabasha newspaper. 

In explanation of the transfer of interest and arrangement 
of firm name, the Herald account of it is that U. B. Shaver as- 
sumed control of the paper early in July, 1862, and in the next 
October resold half his interest to Stevens. This business rela- 
tion and the publishing and editorial arrangement above noted 
seem to have continued to September 17th, 1863, when there is 
another interruption in the files until May 12th, 1864. Mr. 
Shaver was tlien announced as sole editor and proprietor, Stevens 
having sold out and gone to Paxton, Illinois. July 28th, 1864, 
Shaver sold an interest in the plant to R. H. Copeland, of the 
Alma (Wisconsin) Journal. Early in 1865 Copeland dropped 
out of the paper and enlisted in the Union army, and Shaver 
went on alone until August 2nd, 1865, when E. W. Gurley and 
Frank E. Daggett bought the paper and Shaver retired. 

March 8th, 1866, Gurley dropped out, and Daggett went on 
alone.' ISIay 3rd, 1866, Henry W. Rose bought in with Daggett 
and the firm became Daggett and Rose. x\ugust i6th, 1866, the 
paper was enlarged to eight columns, and May 2nd, 1867, to nine. 
November 7th, 1867, the name of Daggett dropped out ; and 
December 5th Rose became sole editor and proprietor. April 
2nd, 1868, Rose died, and from that time until May 14th J. K. 
Arnold was editor. Daggett then returned and his name ap- 
peared in the issue of ]\Iay 14th, 1868, Frank (642) Daggett. 

"642" was humorous in meaning and referred to the ex- 
treme weight of Daggett, who was about five feet six, and weigh- 
ed two hundred and fifty pounds. He was joked so much about 
"642", hovv-ever, that he dropped it and became the plain Frank 
Daggett his friends loved so well. October 13th, 1870, Daggett 
sold to Sharpe and Palmer, and about that time the paper went 
back to an eight-column issue. The valedictory of Daggett is so 
characteristic of the man that I quote the following paragraph of 
its conclusion : 

To all the good friends who have aided me by cheering words and gen- 
erous patronage. I say, Command me in all things an honorable man can 
do for his friends. To that other crowd who love me not, but on the 
contrary have feelings of an otherwise character, I have that good-natured 



contempt which one can afford to have for men he neither respects nor 
fears. I wish those who think they owe me a cowhiding to distinctly un- 
derstand that I freely forgive the debt and hereby receipt the same in full. 

Daggett went to Litchfield, Meeker county, and in company 
with W. D. Joubert, started the Litchfield Ledger. He died 
October 14th, 1876. He was one of the best paragraphists the 
press of Minnesota ever had. 

September 5th, 1872, Amasa T. Sharpe, of the firm of 
Sharpe and Palmer, sold his interest to W. S. Walton, and the 
firm became Walton and Palmer. December 19th, 1872, Palmer 
sold his interest to Walton. June 12th, 1873, W'alton associated 
W. H. Huntington with him, and he remained until October 23rd, 
1873. June loth, 1875, Walton changed the paper to a six-col- 
umn, eight-page issue, and associated with him his brother, H. H. 
W^alton; and June 17th, 1875, the management became "The Her- 
ald Company," and ran that way until May 7th, 1879, when W. 
H. H. Matteson and W. L. Lewark became editors and proprie- 
tors. Somewhere between October 3rd, 1877, September 
i8th, 1878, the Herald changed from the six-column, eight-page 
issue, back to its nine-column, four-page shape. The exact date 
of this change I cannot get, as there is a break in the files in 1877 
and 1878. 

March 30th, 1881, Matteson and Lewark sold to O. F. Col- 
lier; and February ist, 1893, Collier sold to J. F. McGovern and 
Company, who are still running the paper. 


was the sixth daily newspaper started in the Territory. W. A. 
CrofYut and Edwin Clark were the proprietors. Mr. Clark was 
the moving spirit in this transaction. Born in Bridgewater, N. 
H., February 25th, 1834, in a line of prominent and influential 
families of New England, he brought to the west the energetic 
spirit needed to develop and drive the business part of early 
journalism to its best success. 

The first thing ^[r. Clark did was to form a strong combin- 
ation of Republican business men of St. Anthony. Through 
their aid, he purchased for the firm of Croffut and Clark, the 
Minnesota Republican, a weekly newspaper that was being edit- 



c(l and published by Rev. C. G. Ames. He also provided for the 
daily above named. The history of the Republican was given in 
Part I of this paper. The purchase was made September 3rd, 
1857; and the Falls Evening News, the daily connected there- 
with, was issued on the 26th of that month. It was a four-page, 
six-column paper, of which Mr. Croffut was editor, and Mr. 
Gark the publisher and business manager. January 7th,, 1859, 
the name Republican of the weekly was changed to Minnesota 
State News. 

November 5th, 1859, Croffut disposed of his interest to 
Uriah Thomas, a talented young attorney and former member 
of the firm of Hancock and Thomas of Minneapolis. Hancock 
was a brother of General Winfield S. Hancock, of Civil War 
fame. The News firm then became Thomas and Clark. 

April i6th, 1861, the News suspended its daily publication; 
and in 1863 the weekly establishment was sold by Thomas and 
Clark to William S. King, being merged into the State Atlas. 

The, Minnesota Republican, of which the ^.linnesota State 
News was the successor, enjoyed the distinction of being the 
first Republican paper established in the Territory of Minnesota. 

In 1865 'Mr. Clark was appointed United States Indian agent 
for the Chippewas, by President Lincoln, and the following year 
was reappointed. He afterward built a flour mill at Melrose, 
Minn., and also carried on a large mercantile business. In 1894 
he returned to ^linneapolis, and is now a prominent mover in the 
aflfairs of the Territorial Pioneers Association. He is a stirring, 
energetic man, and nothing drags while he has anything to do 
with it. 


W. A. Croffut was born in Redding, Fairfield County, Conn., 
in 1836. His schooling was academic, but not collegiate. He 
began to write for the newspapers at the age of sixteen, and in 
1854 was penning editorials for the Waterbury Democrat. In 
^^55 be was made editor of the Valley Messenger at Derby, 

The Derby Journal had been owned and edited by Thomas 
^r. Nevvson, who established the St. Paul Times in 1854. New- 




son offered Croftut early in 1856 the position of reporter for the 
Times at eight dollars a week. Croffut accepted and soon after 
became city editor ; and, during the absence of Newson, east after 
a wife, he was made editor in chief. 

In September, 1857, Mr. Croffut and Edwin Clark purchased 
the Minnesota Republican and started the Falls Evening News, 
the first daily established outside of St. Paul in the Territory of 

After disposing of his interest in the News to Uriah Thomas 
in 1859, as before stated. Mr. Croftut returned to Connecticut and 
became editor of the Danbury Jeffersonian, a weekly Republican 
paper, which the next year was merged into the Danbury News. 
In i860 he returned to Minnesota and edited the State i\tlas, 
while its owner, Colonel W. S. King, was in Washington. 

In 1861 Croffut enlisted as a three months man in the First 
Minnesota Regiment at Fort Snelling, was mustered out, fol- 
lowed the regiment as correspondent of the New York Tribune, 
and went through the Battle of Bull Run with it. 

During the next two years ]\Ir. Croffut was Tribune cor- 
respondent in the Army of the Potomac. In 1864 he edited the 
Rochester Democrat, and in 1866 he bought a half interest in 
the Palladium, of New Haven, Conn., and became its editor. Two 
years afterward, he sold his interest in that paper and wrote a 
Rebellion History of Connecticut, which had a large sale. He 
next became associated with Lyman C. Draper, secretary of the 
Wisconsin Historical Society at ^Madison, Wis., in the publica- 
tion of a book entitled "A Helping Hand for x\merican Homes." 
In 1870, be became managing editor of the Evening Post of Qii- 
cago, and in 1871 was induced by Colonel King to return to Min- 
neapolis and edit the Minneapolis Tribune. 

He remained in ^[inneapolis nearly three years; but, upon 
receiving an advantageous offer from the New York Daily 
Graphic, he joined its staff in New York, where he wrote editor- 
ials nearly five years. He then joined the staff of the Daily 
Tribune under Whitelaw Reid, and in the meantime carried on 
a weekly correspondence vv'ith newspapers in about fifteen differ- 
ent states, illustrating the letters as they were printed. In 18^ 
he went to Washington and became editor of the Daily Post. I" 
1888 he became executive officer of the United States Geological 




Survey, but still continued his general correspondence with the 
newspapers. In the fall of 1894 Mr. Croftut retired to private 
life, and has since resided in Washington. 

No one can truthfully say that ^Ir. Croffut's long, busy 
journalistic career has been unversatile. Wherever he went, he 
carried a chip on his shoulder, and had as much fun w4th his pen 
as an old time Irishman with his shillalah. His spicy Tribune 
war articles, and his correspondence with his twelve or fifteen 
newspapers at a later period, attracted much attention and were 
widely read. 


Hon. H. R. Wells, of Preston, Fillmore county, writes me, 
in answer to an inquiry about the beginnings of Democrat No. 
2, that he has the files complete. Volume i, No. i, he tells me, 
is dated September nth, 1857. The history of Chatfield Demo- 
crat, No. I, I gave as far as possible among the nevrspapers of 
185(3. Chatfield Democrat, No. 2, was therefore the sixty-fourth 
newspaper venture launched in the Territory of Minnesota. 

This paper, No. 2, was started by C. C. Hemphill. No. 14, 
Volume 2, December i8th, 1858, is the first issue I have been able 
to find in the Historical Library. Hemphill continued it to Vol- 
ume 3, No. 13, December loth, 1859, when he sold the plant to 
Gen. Judson W. Bishop, who is now residing in St. Paul. At 
Volume 4, No. 3, January 21st, i860, the paper was enlarged to 
seyen columns. May nth, 1861, General Bishop sold to J. S. 
McKenny and Compan\', and went into the army. General Bish- 
op informs me that he purchased the Democrat for $300, and sold 
it for $1,500, a pretty good speculation for seventeen months 
holding, while the echoes of the financial crash of 1857 were re- 
sounding through the west. 

i\pril 17th, 1869, J. S. McKenny having died, J. H. McKen- 
ny and Son purchased the paper. Another son soon afterward 
joined the firm, and the owners were J. H. McKenny and Sons, 
until the death of J. H. McKenny, ^^lay 23rd, 1878. October 2Sth, 
1882, H. B. McKenny left his brother and purchased a half interest 
in the Lake City Sentinel. January 6th, 1883, the Democrat was 
enlarged to eight columns, and on October 13th S. S. McKenny 



sold the paper to R. McNeill. On June 15th, 1889, McNeill sold 
to Frank T. Drebert of the Owatonna Journal. November 27th, 
1894, the paper was changed to a semi-weekly issue; and May 
22nd, 1902, it was combined with the Chatfield News and became 
the News Democrat. It is now running under that name, Har- 
nish and Stoudt being owners and editors. 


was a seven-column Democratic sheet, and the sixty-fifth news- 
paper in the Territory. It was launched at Traverse des Sioux, 
a. trading post on the Minnesota river, a short distance north 
from St. Peter. The date of its first issue was September 17th, 

It seems that a month or so previous to the above date, Mil- 
ton M. Pearce brought to Traverse des Sioux a $2,500 newspaper 
and job outfit, from Cleveland, Ohio. He made a contract with 
the townsite company to issue a weekly newspaper one year,, for 
sundry town lots and a cash bonus of one thousand dollars. It 
seems that shortly afterward the company became dissatisfied 
with Pearce, and James J. Green, now editor of the New Ulm 
News, was induced to buy the office and assume the control. 

The financial crash of 1857 was too much for Green. He 
had to abandon the Traverse des Sioux enterprise with consider- 
able loss. The St. Paul Advertiser quotes it in its issue of Jan- 
uary 1 6th, 1858, and that is the last I can find of it. The town- 
site company broke up about that time, and the newspaper pro- 
ject failed. 


James J. Green was born January 29th, 1830, in Lancaster 
county. Pa., and cam^e to Minnesota Territory early in 1856. He 
was elected the first clerk of the district court of Nicollet county, 
at the first state election in 1857, and about the same time he 
bought the Traverse des Sioux Reporter. This faihng, as stated, 
he started the Minnesota Statesman in St. Peter, June nth, 1858. 
During the war, he was quartermaster sergeant of the First Min- 
nesota Rangers, commanded by Colonel ^^IcPhail, and crossed the 



plains in 1863, in General Sibley's Indian expedition. He is now 
editor of the New Ulm News, and is a valued citizen of Brown 
county, Minnesota. 


Again I have to rely upon the St. Paul Advertiser as the 
anchor to hold a territorial newspaper from drifting without 
chart or compass upon an unknown sea. The Advertiser of Octo- 
ber 24th, 1857, says, "The first number of the Bancroft Pioneer, 
published at Bancroft, Freeborn county, has just arrived." It 
was started, therefore, about the middle of October, 1857. David 
Blakeley was the editor of the Pioneer. He refers to his connec- 
tion with it in an address before the early settlers of Freeborn 
County. The address is found in the History of Freeborn Coun- 
ty, in the Library of the Historical Society. The concluding part 
is as follows : 

I stuck to the town of Bancroft as long as a single subscriber remained 
upon its site, of the three which it originally contained. But when the 
store was closed, and Comfort departed, and Agent Oliver struck his col- 
ors, and I had watched the schooner which bore him and his away from 
the town, until it disappeared among the oak openings in the distance, I 

"Like one who treads alone 
Some banquet hall deserted, 

Whose garlands dead, whose lights are fled. 
And all but me departed." 

The Pioneer was published in the interest of a land company 
that owned the town of Bancroft. It ran nearly a year, and when 
the townsite enterprise failed, the paper died. It was the sixt}'- 
sixth newspaper started in the Territory. 


David Blakeley was born in Binghamton, N. Y., in 1 83 1. 
He came to Minnesota in 1857, and his first editorial venture was 
with the Bancroft Pioneer. After leaving Bancroft, he started 
the Mower County Z^Iirror, September 30th, 1858, at Austin; and 
November 5th, 1859, in company with Cyrenus Blakeley, he start- 
ed the Rochester City Post at Rochester, Olmsted county, which 



they conducted about six years. He was elected and served as 
secretary of state from November, 1862, to January, 1866. He 
afterward became owner and editor of the Chicago Post. He 
next, in 1874, became owner of the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, 
and in 1875 combined it with the St. Paul Press. In 1876 the 
Pioneer Press bought the Minneapolis Tribune and Mail and 
united them under the name of the Pioneer Press and Tribune. 
In 1877 Blakeley sold out, and bought the ^lail part of the ag- 
gregation, the Pioneer Press agreeing to drop the Tribune. Blake- 
ley then turned the ]Mail into the Minneapolis Evening Tribune, 
and it afterward became the Minneapolis Tribune, as now pub- 

Finally, Mr. Blakeley left journalism and became owner 
and manager of the famous Gilmore Band, and afterward man- 
aged the ^larine Band, of which Sousa was the leader. In the 
latter business conection he met his death by apoplexy, Novem- 
ber 7th, 1896. 


of Belle Plaine, Scott county, was the sixty-seventh Minnesota 
newspaper. No. 16 of Volume i, dated March i8th, 1858, is the 
first issue in the Historical Library, and is the first trace of the 
paper that I can find anywhere. Counting back, No. i would be 
December 3rd, 1857. As the St. Paul Advertiser of December 
5th, 1857, quotes the first number, December 3rd is probably the 
correct date of the first issue. 

David A. Wright was editor and publisher of the Inquirer. 
Wright helped Judge Atwater run the St. Anthony Express 
while I was up on the Red river in my wild-goose-town-Iot-chase 
during the first six months of 1857. The Inquirer was a four- 
page, seven-column. Democratic paper. In the latter part of 1858 
J. W. Bennett became associated with Wright as editor and pub- 
lisher. March 17th, 1859, Wright dropped out of the combin- 
ation, and Bennett went on alone until July 21st, 1859, when 
Bennett in turn disappeared and George W. Marsh took his place. 
The issue of November 17th, 1859, appeared with the name of 
Marsh as editor printed upside down, which was probably in- 
tended to be a humorous reference to the close of his administra- 
tion. At any rate the next issue contained the names of Horace 



G. Baxter and Maurice C. Russell, Baxter being the editor, and 
Baxter and Russell the publishers. 

In the early part of July, i860, J. L. Macdonald, later judge 
of the district court, and member of Congress from the Minneso- 
ta valley, and his brother, P. S. Macdonald, took charge of the 
paper, the former acting as editor. In answer to an inquiry from 
me, Judge Macdonald says he dissolved his conection with the 
paper in the latter part of 1861. As the last number of the In- 
quirer in the Historical Library is dated October 12th, 1861, and 
as Judge Macdonald's name was still at the head of the editorial 
columns, the paper must have died about the time he left it. I 
have therefore fixed that date as the finish of the Inquirer. The 
Judge then purchased the press and material of the St. Anthony 
Express, my old paper, and with it started the Shakopee Argus, 
whkh is still running. 


Folkets Rost is the name of a Democratic Norwegian news- 
paper published in St. Paul in Territorial times. It was staited> 
1 think, near the close of 1857. Earle S. Goodrich, who was ed- 
itor and proprietor of the Pioneer and Democrat during those 
early years, informs' me that he printed the paper; but he cannot 
recall any of the details, except that he believes his connection 
with it left him on the wrong side of the ledger. Although it 
probably was started earlier than December, 1857, I place it 
sixty-eighth on the list ; and I believe it has the honor of being 
the first Scandinavian newspaper printed in the Northwest. 

In the files of the Pioneer and Democrat of September 28th, 
1858, I find the following: "The next number of the Folkets 
Rost, the Norwegian Democratic paper, will be issued this week. 
A large extra edition will be printed.'' This is the only printed 
record that I can find of this newspaper. 


was the sixty-ninth paper established in the Territory. The place 
was New Ulm, Brown county. It was a four-page, five-column 
sheet, Republican in politics. The first number of this paper 
in the Historical Library files is No. 46 of Volume 2, January 



l/th, i860. It being difficult to get a definite beginning for the 
Pioneer, from such data, I wrote Hon. William Pfaender, of New 
Ulm, and he kindly helped me out. He was manager of the Ger- 
man Land Association that took charge of the New Ulm settle- 
ment in 1856, and arranged for the publication of a newspaper. 
A committee, consisting of A. H. Wagner, H. K. Kattmann, C, 
Kochne and William Pfaender, was appointed by the Associa- 
tion. They established the New Ulm Pioneer on the first of Jan- 
uary, 1858, and turned it over to Nucgele and Gerstenhauer as 
publishers, and H. Kompe as editor. The first issue of the 
paper was dated January 7th, 1858. 

In September, 1861, both publishers enlisted in the Union 
army, but G. W. O. Earth continued the paper, its last issue ap- 
pearing on August i6th, 1S62, three days before the seige of New 
Ulm was begun by the Indians. In that siege, the office and con- 
tents of the Pioneer were destroyed by fire, and the editor was 
wounded. According to Mr. Pfaender, he escaped to a straw- 
stack and died there when that in turn was burned. 

The Mankato Record made this further brief reference to 
the death of the Pioneer editor. It said: "Otto Earth, editor 
of the New Ulm Pioneer, died on Tuesday, August 26th, from 
the effects of burns. He was in a stable that was fired by the 


was the seventieth newspaper issued in Minnesota. As far as 
known, no copies of the Visitor are in existence. The Histor\' 
of Stearns County fixes its beginning on December loth, 1857: 
but as number nine of the issue was disastrously begun March 
27th, 1858, the first issue must have been made some time in the 
latter part of January, 1858. I have therefore placed its date at 
January 23rd, 1858, which will allow a lapse of one week, such as 
most of the early papers needed in getting started. 

Jane G. Swisshelm was editress of the Visitor, and James 
Mowatt its publisher. Mrs. Swisshelm was an unrelenting, un- 
tactiid champion of woman's rights and antislavery, and she 
wielded the tomahawk and scalping knife editorially with sav- 
age ferocity. 



General Sam Lowrie, a southern man, and a pronounced 
proslavery Democrat, was, at the time, the "big man" of the tipper 
Mississippi valley. Lowrie waited upon Mrs. Swisshelm soon af- 
ter her arrival, and, with all the suavity of a southern gentle- 
man, tendered his earnest support of the Visitor, provided she 
would support the Buchanan administration. Mrs. Swisshelm 
had been posted about Lowrie and was ready for him. She re- 
sponded in a ladylike way that she W'Ould willingly support the 
administration of President Buchanan, if she could be allowed to 
do it in her way. This satisfied Gen. Lowrie, and they parted 
with mutual expressions of esteem. 

The Visitor came out soon after, with the Buchanan support 
given in such a satirical, ironical way, that Lowrie and the other 
Democrats of St. Cloud were maddened and disgusted. They 
protested, of course. Mrs. Swisshelm replied that she had 
pledged her word, and that she intended "to support the Bu- 
chanan administration until it was sunk into everlasting infamy." 

That stirred things from the bottom. J. C. Shepley, an at- 
torney and prominent Democrat of St. Cloud, delivered a lecture 
soon after, in which he severely denounced woman's rights wo- 
men. It also contained a number of very offensive allusions that 
Mrs. Swisshelm considered personal. She replied with allusions 
quite as personal, and directed largely, as Shepley claimed, at 
his wife. A midnight raid upon the office of the Visitor followed. 
On the 28th of March, 1858, after the outside of No. 9 of the Vis- 
itor had been worked off, the press was taken apart, broken, and 
a considerable portion of it, with the type, thrown into the river. 
A note reading as follows was left in the office: "If you ever 
again attempt to publish a paper in St. Cloud, you yourself will 
be as summarily dealt with as your office has been." This note 
was signed "Vigilante." 

The friends of Mrs. Swisshelm were in turn enraged. A 
public meeting was called, ^Irs. Swisshelm dictated her will to 
Judge IMcKelvy, and made Miles Brown, a dead shot with a 
revolver, agree to stand near her, and if she fell into the hands of 
the mob to shoot her through the head. She then went to the 
ni:eting at the Stearns House, and, with Brown standing near, 
named General Lowrie and two other men -as the ones who de- 
stroyed the Visitor office. Armed men stood at the doors and 



around Mrs. Swisshelm as she spoke. The mob yelled, stoned 
the house, and fired guns, but did not molest Mrs. Swisshelm per- 

T. H. Barrett, who the year previous had helped me put up 
the first house east of the Red river in the vallev between Breck- 
enridge and Pembina, and who fought the last battle of the Re- 
bellion at the head of his negro troops in Texas ten days after 
Lee's surrender, was chairman of the committee on resolutions. 
They were very warmly written. A printing company of forty 
men was then fonned, an agent w^ent to Chicago to buy press and 
type, and, on ^May 13th, 1858, No. 9 of the Visitor was finally 
printed and issued. 

From May 13th, 1858, the date of reissue after the destruc- 
tion of her press, until July 29th, the Visitor was continued. 
Then a libel suit, with damages fixed at $10,000, combined with 
other difficulties that surrounded Mrs. Swisshelm, caused the 
death of the Visitor. Finally, the press and material were virtu- 
ally contributed by the people who owned it, Mrs. Swisshelm 
regained possession, and, in August, 1858, she began the St. 
Goud Democrat. In June, 1863, W. B. Mitchell bought the 
Democrat plant, and in September, 1866, changed its name to the 
St. Cloud Journal. 


Jane G. Swisshelm was born December 6th, 181 5. Her 
grandmother, Jane Grey, was a lineal descendant of Lady Jane 
Grey. She met her husband, James Swisshelm, at a quilting bee 
dance in Pennsylvania, when she was nineteen, and was married 
before she was twenty-one. She preferred a literary career: he 
wanted to keep her in the kitchen. Frequent quarrels resulted. 
In 1840 she left him, but was afterw^ard reconciled. Finally she 
left him for good, and a divorce followed. Her parting from 
Mr. Swisshelm when she started for Minnesota, May 27th, 1857. 
is pathetically described in her book, "Half a Century," , as fol- 
lows: "My husband, mine no more, came upon the boat whde 
she lay at the wharf, held baby on his knee and wept over her. 
When the last bell rang, he bade me goodbye ; carried her to the 
gangway, held her to the last moment, then placed her in my 
arms, sprang ashore and hurried up the wharf." 



Mrs. Swisshelm began her journalistic career in 1842, when 
twenty-seven years old. She wrote woman's rights and antislav- 
try articles for the Spirit of Liberty at Pittsburg, and when that 
paper died she wrote for the Pittsburg Commercial Journal, a 
Whig paper of that city. She was also a frequent contributor to 
Dr. Bailey's paper, the New Era, of Washington. In 1848 she 
began a paper of her own in Pittsburg, named the Sunday Vis- 
itor. This was also devoted to woman's rights and antislavery. 
In ;85o she became a staff correspondent of the New York Trib- 
une; and in 1857 she came to ^Minnesota and began the publica- 
tion of the St. Cloud Visitor, as before stated. 

After leaving St. Cloud, she became a hospital nurse in the 
Union army. She died, a recluse, in a log cabin at Swissvale, 
Pa. ; and her husband followed her three years after, from the 
old farm within sight of the little cabin in which ]Mrs. Swisshelm 
closed her erratic life. 


The Times, of Winona, was the seventy-first weekly news- 
paper established in Minnesota Territory. It was a four-page, 
seven-column, Democratic sheet, and its first issue was dated Jan- 
uar>' 30th, 1858. J. Ketchum Averill was the proprietor, and Av- 
erill and Sam Whiting were the editors. 

July 17th, 1858, Whiting abandoned the enterprise, and, 
as that is the last of it in the Historical Library, it must have died 
at that time, or soon after. Tliat date is as far as I have been able 
to trace it. The Times was started with the material of the Wi- 
nona Argus. The Argus began in December, 1854, and died in 
the fall of 1857. 


Upon the death of the Northwestern Democrat in the fall 
of 1857, its press and type passed into the hands of Joel B. Bas- 
J^ctt. February 2nd, 1858. W. F. Russell, of the Shakopee Advo- 
cate, purchased the remains and began the ^Minneapolis Gazette, 
'•vith Alexander B. Russell as editor. The paper ran only a few 
months, when the chilly financial weather following 1857 killed 
it, and the material went back to Bassett. The Gazette was a 



four-page, eight-column, Republican sheet, and was the seventy- 
second journalistic venture in ^linnesota. i 
In September, 1858, what was left of the Gazette was re-j 
sold to C. H. Pettit and John G. Williams, who started the Min- 
neapolis Journal. The Journal in turn was absorbed by William 
S. King, May 28th, 1859, when he started the Atlas. The Atlas 
ran until 1867, when it went into the Minneapolis Tribune, which 
is still running. 


was the seventy-third newspaper printed in Minnesota Territory. 
It was a four-page, seven-column. Republican paper. Its firs: 
issue must have been dated February 3rd, 1858, as No. 7 of Vol- 
ume I is in the Historical Library, and dated ]\Iarch 17th, 185S. 
jM. L. Stewart and J. H. Hyatt appear as the publishers in that 
issue of IMarch 17th, 1858, and they were probably the starters 
of the paper. The History of Olmsted County claims that these 
men bought the material of the defvmct Olmsted County Journal, 
with which to begin the Free Press, but the author places the 
date of purchase in the winter of 1858, while the files talk as 
above stated. The St. Paul Pioneer of November 19th, 1857. 
announces the suspension of the Journal on account of the finan- 
cial failures following the downfall of the Ohio Life and Trust 
Company. I find it stated in another place, however, that tl^' 
Journal caught its second wind and resumed, and that it did no: 
die until June, 1859, when the Free Press under Fred A. Soule 
absorbed it. 

Be this as it may, the files say that on March 31st, 1S5-S. 
Soule became editor of the Free Press, and that on August iStli, 
1858, Stewart and Hyatt retired and J. R. Drew became pub- 
lisher. April 14th, 1859, Robbins, a promising young man, 
became associated with Soule as editor, but on the first of July 
following, Robbins was drowned. July i6th, 1859, M. L. Stew- 
art again appeared as publisher. August 20th, 1859, the last 
number in the Historical Library. The paper was discontinue . 
about this time, and the Rochester Post succeeded it Novembc 
5th, 1859, and was followed by the Rochester News under Blai--^- 
dell of the Wasioja Gazette the week 'after the first numlx^r of 
the Post was issued. Blaisdell, it seemed, brought the Gazette 



plant down to Rcchester, to fill the vacancy left by the Free Press, 
but Blakeley got in with his Post ahead of him. 


was the seventy-fourth newspaper venture in Minnesota. It was 
started some time in the latter part of Alarch, 1858, as I find 
that the St. Paul Advertiser of ^Vlarch 27th, 1858, announces its 
advent. Milton M. Pearce, who a short time before had sold 
the Traverse des Sioux Reporter to James J. Green, as has al- 
ready been stated, was the starter of the Shakopee Reporter. I 
find it quoted by the Glencoe Register, in its issue of June 12th, 
1858, and that seems to have been about the last of it. 


was the seventy-fifth weekly newspaper started in Minnesota Ter- 
ritory. Capt. R. A. Hoag and his brother were the owners. The 
material came from Cannon Falls, Goodhue county, where it had 
been used to print the Cannon Falls Gazette. It was moved from 
Nortlifield to Rochester in the early sixties and combined with 
one of the papers there. The Journal was published in North- 
field about three years, and I believe it was the first paper printed 
in that place. 


As Minnesota became a state on May nth, 1858, this series 
of papers will close with the record of the Plastings Daily Ledger, 
the seventh daily paper in the Territory. It was published in 
Hastings, and the first number was issued May loth, 1858. Four 
pages of five columns each was its size ; and, being in Dakota 
county, it was of course Democratic. It ran a year; then the 
Hastings Weekly Ledger took its place, and about the following 
October that paper died. The Hastings Weekly Ledger was 
the seventy-sixth and last weekly newspaper established in the 


Of the seventy-six weekly newspapers started in Territorial 
times, only seven are now living. These are the St. Paul Pioneer, 


now the Pioneer Press ; the Winona RepubUcan ; the Deutsche 
Zeitung, now the Volkszeitung ; Mantorville Express ; Red Win;:^ 
RepubHcan; Wabasha Herald; and Chatfield Democrat, now the 
News Democrat. Of the seven daihes. only one, the St. Paul 
Pioneer, now the Pioneer Press, Hves. Three of the six weeklies, 
the Red Wing Republican, the. Wabasha Herald, and the Chat- 
field Democrat, were started in September, 1857; and, so far as 
I can learn, they each went through that trying financial storm, 
without missing a number. 

I have received protests from the present editors of the Free- 
born County Standard and Glencce Register, against excluding 
them from the above list of surviving Territorial newspapers. 
The facts regarding these papers are given in the fourth paper 
of this series. Under the head of the Southern ^Minnesota Star, 
I prove that the Star died and was succeeded by the Freeborn 
County Eagle, with new volume and num.ber. The Eagle then 
died and the Standard was begun, starting also with Volume r. 
No. I. 

The Glencoe Register died, and Colonel Stevens, its founder, 
so announced its termination. Then the Glencoe Register No. 2 
was started at Volume i. No. i. by James C. Edson ; as the 
Eagle was started by Svvaneford after the death of the Star, and 
the Standard by Ruble and Hooker after the death of the Eagle. 

Tearing down a house named the Star, and erecting, on new 
foundations, a new house named the Eagle, and then tearing 
down the Eagle, and erecting the Standard on other new founda- 
tions, does not date the Standard back to either Star or Eagle 
time, though some of the same material and men were in each. 
The St. Anthony Express was a Territorial newspaper. It died 
in 1861, and the press was used to start the Shakopee Argus; but 
no one has ever claimed that the Argus became a Territorial 
newspaper on that account. Had the Star become the Star- 
Eagle, and that in turn the Standard-Star, and the volume and 
number been continuous from the first number of the Star, the 
Territorial line of succession would have been complete. As it 
is, the line was broken twice, and each time intentionally, aiid for 
that reason I must deny that the Standard had Territorial suc- 
cession ; as, under like conditions, I have been compelled to shut 
out the Glencoe Register and the Stillwater Messenger. 


I believe that I cannot close this record of the Territorial 
Journalism of Minnesota in any better way than by copying the 
following graphic pen picture drawn by J. A. Wheelock, now 
editor-in-chief of the Pioneer Press and the Xestor of Minnesota 
Journalism. I quote from the Z^Iinnesota Advertiser, the first 
Minnesota newspaper that Wheelock edited. The date is March 
13th, 1858. Speaking of the Journalism of the early fifties, he 
said : 

The journalism of that day, inspired by Goodhue, mirrored the rough 
time exactly. Even its contentious rivalries were but the coquetries of 
an exuberant good-nature that lay at bottom. Tlie entire intellectual lite 
of the day ran through the Pioneer and the valetudinarian. Chronicle and 
its successors. The Chronicle, in its weak vicissitudes, was the necessary 
correlative of the Pioneer — not exactly the Judy to his. Punch — but equally 
essential to the dialogue and the sport. Who shall number the victims of 
the giant's gambols? There was the venerable Nat. who sought ignoble 
shelter among the Sioux : — there was Charley, his promise broken on the 
merciless wheel of his enem.y's sarcasm ; — the mercurial Smith, of unde- 
fined perquisites, model of all future Secretaries, driven mad by bon-mots 
into a shameful banishment : — and the stately Wakefield, grand with con- 
scious authorship, patient of publication, lashed upon a Pegasus of his 
own choosing, and sent back, horsed like Mazeppa. into the desert. Mem- 
ories throng upon us of coarse, genial souls and rough dressed characters, 
knit together in a jolly, hazy, idle life of whiskey and tobacco. 





Mr. President and Members of the ^Minnesota Historical So- 
ciety: Permit me to introduce this survey of the history of edu- 
cation in ^linnesota with a recognition of the obHgations of the 
citizens of our state to this society for its preservation of ^ 
knowledge of the many and diverse elements that have entered 
into our developing industries and institutions, — ideas, experi- 
ments, incentives, together with the lives and labors of its peoole. 
Civilization, like Nature itself, has the power of so utterly assim- 
ilating the forms and forces that have made it, that the individ- 
ual elements lose their identity, leaving no record behind. It i^* 
only by the careful and intelligent offices of a society like this that 
these passing views, these dissolving elements, can be preserved 
for the future student and historian. 

In submitting this address on the early planting of our in- 
stitutions of learning, it is especially gratifying that it may be 
in the presence of the venerable and honored president of this 
society, Ex-Governor Ramsey, who, in his public and private ca- 
pacity, has rendered invaluable aid by his wise counsel in the 
erection of this noble structure, and of which he might with mod- 
esty say, with the traditional founder of the old Roman state^ 
"Quorum pars magna fui." We congratulate our respected fel- 
low citizen that it is his privilege to witness the magnificence and 
the beneficence of this superstructure of education, the corner 
stone of which he helped to lay in those troublous times. 

•An address at the Annual Meetins,' of this Society. Jnnuary 19, 1903. For a more- 
«xten<k!d treatmfut of this suhjeot, see Profe.ssor Kieiile's book. ■'Ediicatiou m 
Minnesota," (Parts I aud li. pat^es 120 au<l 101). published after the delivery of this 
•dUress, in the late part of 1903. by the H. W. Wilson Company, Minneapolis. 




The planting and fostering of a system of education in a 
new state is the most far-reaching event in its history. The pion- 
eers who did this service stand as the representatives of the 
world's civilization at its high water mark. These men and wo- 
men of that early day brought with them the courage and endur- 
ance necessary to face the hardships and dangers of unsubdueo 
nature in climate, land, and flood, as still held by aboriginal sav- 
age life. They opened up highways of travel, built towns and 
factories, and, more than all, they brought in their own charac- 
ters and ideals the best of modern life in homes, churches, an I 

The spirit of our modern civilization was active in educa- 
tion before the state as an institution had organic form, and long 
before the elements were at hand for the organization of a state 
system. When Minnesota became a territory in 1849, there were 
but three centers of civil and social life so far developed as to 
furnish starting points for schools, namely, Stillwater, St. Paul, 
and St. Anthony. At these points were elementary privat'* 
schools, taught by ]Miss Horsford (Mrs. H. L. Moss) at Still- 
water, Miss Backus at St. Anthony, and Miss Bishop and INt'^s 
Scofield at St. Paul. 

Two years before. Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, a pioneer 
missionary to the Indians, in the catholicity of his spirit, consid- 
ered the higher interests of the white people of St. Paul, wrote 
to Ex-Govemor Slade of Vermont, president of the National 
Popular Education Society, representing that in this village there 
were some thirty-six children of school age, and requested that a 
teacher be sent them. In response to this appeal Miss Harrirt 
E. Bishop came. She has described her schoolhouse as a litt?'? 
log hovel, some 10 by 12 feet in size, covered with bark ^nd 
chinked with mud, and previously used as a blacksmith she'/. 
On the sides, pegs were driven into the logs, and upon them 
boards were laid for seats. This log schoolhouse was located on 
St. Anthony street (now Third street), at the corner of St. Pct<T 
street, on the later site of the First Presbyterian Church. 
is also memorable in being the place where the first public schon' 
meeting w^s held in November, 1849, soon after the organizatif^n 
of the territory. 




Inasmuch as the earliest educational influences were repre- 
sented in the missionary spirit of individuals and Christian de^ 
nominations, this seems to be the place to recognize the contin- 
ued enterprise of these high-minded men and women down to the 
present day. Their work has not been superseded by the more 
comprehensive plan of the state that followed. With the specifc 
aims of providing an educated laity and ministry, they established 
schools of higher learning for all who would avail themselves of 
these advantages. 

In 1853 the Baldwin school in St. Paul, open to both sexes, 
was incorporated by the Presbyterians, and in the following year 
Baldwin College was opened to young men. But the sparsely 
settled condition of the country, the unorganized condition of 
society, accompanied by the financial stress of 1857, and fol- 
lowed by the civil war of 1861-65, arrested all educational enter- 
prises, so that we must look for their continued history in the 
years following. In 1874 through a bequest of Charles Macal- 
ester of Philadelphia the name of Baldwin College was changed 
to Macalester College, and it was permanently located with build- 
ings for instruction and residences for professors on its present 
campus of thirty acres in St. Paul, where it is now doing excel- 
lent work under the presidency of Rev. James Wallace, Ph.D. 

It is deserving of record that the founding of this college 
was chiefly due to the laborious efforts of Rev. Edward D. Nei^.l, 
D.D., the pioneer missionary and educator who came to this state 
in 1849. ^^^^ servant of his own denomination, 

but, as a public spirited citizen and cultivated scholar, he w^s 
identified with the civil life of the state, and was one of the in- 
fluential leaders in developing its educational system, as we shall 
have occasion to notice further on. 

The Methodist denomination moved early in establishing 
Hamline University in 1854, formally opened to men and women 
in 1857. It was located at Red Wing, which "in 1849 had a 
population of 305, — 300 being Sioux Indians, and the five being 
two missionaries, with the wife and child of one, and the gov- 
ernment farmer." ''In all, between the years 1857 and 1869, the 
university graduated 14 women and 9 men." 

Hamline University, after a struggling career of many 





years, owing to conditions already noted, dates its new and pros- 
perous history after its removal to its present location between 
the Twin Cities in 1869, re-opening in 1880 as a colle- 

giate institution under the presidency of Rev. D. C. John, D.D. 
(1880-1883), and, since 1883, R^v. George H. Bridgman, 
LL.D., its present administrative officer and president. 

The Bishop Seabury Mission, chartered in i860, includes the 
system of academic and divinity schools located at Faribault. 
These stand as a monument to the enterprise and philanthropy 
of the Episcopal Church. 

The ending of the Civil War and the established union of 
the divided states mark the beginning of the larger industrial and 
educational prosperity of the state. Every religious denomina- 
tion has been active in contributing its influence to the upbuilding 
of the state in intelligence and morality. 

At Northfield, in 1867, was founded, by the Congregation 
alists, the preparatory department of what in 1870 took perma- 
nent form in the opening of Carleton College under the presi- 
dency of Rev. James W. Strong, LL.D., who has just closed hi.> 
long and successful administration. 

In 1857 St. John's College was founded by the Order of St. 
Benedict and located at St. Cloud. In 1867 it was removed to if? 
present site in College ville ; and in 1883 became St. John's 

Following the sixties the religious and educational spirit of 
the state, Protestant and Catholic, multiplied schools and acad- 
emies in all parts of the state, thus making the best possible pro- 
vision for the elementary and higher instruction of our youth 
in the absence of the more comprehensive system which the sta!^t* 
has since provided. 

Appended, will be found a list of the secondary and higher 
institutions now established and supported by private benefac- 
tions and religious associations of loyal citizens of the state, wbo 
V, in addition bear their full share in support of our public school-. 


The noticeable characteristic of our own, as of all education:'! 
history, is in this, that provision is first made for the higher cdu- 



cation and leadership of those who control and give direction to 
the industrial life. If society has an inteUigent, virtuous and 
philanthropic leadership in a few good men and women, the 
masses will follow and obey in confidence. For this reason the 
university movement in territorial days was a more engrossing 
subject than the public schools. However, all elements of the 
system were in view from the first, as we shall see. 

The history of education in [Minnesota belongs to a second 
great chapter of our nation's history, which dates from the Or- 
dinance of 1787, when the old states of New England, New York, 
and Virginia ceded their claims to territory in the Northwest to 
the general government, and when this new empire of the great 
west began its history, established on the ''trinity of principles, 
free labor, free religion, and free education." At that time tne 
Government set apart one-thirty-sixth of the public domain — > 
section sixteen of each township — for the support of common 
schools. In 1848, upon the organization of the Territory of Ore- 
gon, the national grant to common schools was increased to tv;o 
sections in each tovv'nship, section thirty-six being added. 

The first Legislature of the Territory of Minnesota convened 
September 3, 1849. Governor, the Honorable Alexander 

Ramsey, in his message presented the interests of education in 
these v.'Ords. "The subject of education, which has ever been 
esteemed of the first importance, especially in all new American 
communities, deserves, and I doubt not will receive, your ear- 
liest and most devoted care. From the pressure of other and 
more immediate v.-ants, it is not to be expected that your school 
system should be very ample; yet it is desirable that whatever is 
done should be of a character that will readily adapt itself to the 
growth and increase of the country, and not in future years re- 
quire a violent change of system." 

The territorial school code made provision for (i) The ap- 
pointment of a Superintendent of Public Instruction, — Edv/i'-d 
D. Neill being the first, and at the same salary as the Treasurer 
and Auditor, $100 per annum; (2) The division of the township 
into districts, whenever the district contains ten or more families ; 
(3) The levy of a county tax of two and a half mills for the sup- 
port of schools, to which was added fifteen per cent of all liquor 
licenses and fines for criminal offenses. 



The first report of Superintendent Neill, for the year 185:, 
gives eight districts in Ramsey county, with three school houses 
valued at $1600, and four districts in Washington county, bur 
with no school houses. 

For the permanent organization of our common school sys- 
tem we must pass on to the organization of the state government 
and the adoption of the Constitution. The record of the proceed- 
ings of the Constitutional Convention, which began its sessions 
July 13, 1857, gives us a view of interesting problems that were 
then considered and adjusted. 


Prominent was the question whether, inasmuch as the public 
lands were designated as the sixteenth and thirty-sixth sections 
of each township, the revenue accruing should not be adminis- 
tered by township authorities for the support of the schools oi 
the township in which the lands were located. The wise cori- 
. elusion of the convention is incorporated in Article VIII, Sec. 2, 
of the State Constitution, in which it is provided that the public 
school lands are to be administered by the state for the scholars 
of the state, to be sold at public sale, and not more than one- 
third in two years, one-third in five years, and one-third in ten 
years, the most valuable lands to be sold first; and that the 
principal shall constitute an inviolate permanent fund, the in- 
come from which shall be distributed according to the number 
of scholars between the ages of five and twenty-one years. 

In his message to the legislature of 1861, Governor Ramsey 
gave to no other subject so large a place, nor so serious a discus- 
sion, as to that of popular education, especially in regard to tlic 
wisest management of the school lands donated by the general 
government. He called attention to the generous grant, wiucn 
was double that made to states admitted previous to 1849. 
face of pressing emergencies demanding immediate relief, and ot 
speculators who sought control of large tracts of land at nominal 
prices, Governor Ramsey reminded the legislature that these 
'* lands were to be administered "with a view to the permanent 
interests of the school fund. It is only," the Governor insisted, 
"by adhering to this as a fundamental principle of legislation, by 




regarding the school lands, not as a temporary source of relief 
from present burdens, but as a provision for the permanent in- 
terests of education, that we can rightly discharge the sacred ob- 
ligations to posterity which this trust imposes upon us, or fitly 
respond to the elevated and paternal policy of the general govern- 
ment." He warned against the policy, adopted by Wisconsin and 
Iowa, where the minimum appraisal was one dollar and a quar 
ter an acre, ''under which their splendid grants have become the 
prey of speculators." The poHcy advocated by the governor was 
to avoid the extremes of too high and too low valuation. xVii- 
other recommendation of the governor, which was also adopted, 
was that a small part of the price should be required at the time 
of purchase, and that the balance should be on long time at a 
reasonable interest. Without doubt, no public interest to which 
the administration of Governor Ramsey was related has reflected 
greater honor upon him, or will stand as a nobler monument 
of his wise and disinterested service. 

This conservative spirit of the convention and of the gov- 
ernor of the state was expressed by subsequent legislation, in 
1862, prohibiting the sale of school lands for less than five dollar? 
an acre; and in 1875, amendment of the constitution, pro- 

viding for the safe investment of school funds in bonds of the 
State of Minnesota and of the United States. In 1896 an ad- 
ditional amendment provided for the investment of school funds 
in bonds of counties, school districts, cities, towns and villages 
of the state to a very limited amount under the direction and with 
the approval of a designated board of commissioners. 

The history of the common school fund of ^Minnesota bears 
a most honorable testimony to the business sagacity and the con- 
scientious faithfulness of the officers of the state who have b^en 
charged with its administration. The table appended show? the 
increase of this fund by five-year intervals to the present, when it 
amounts to $14,316,389. 


A vital principle in public education was involved in this 
act of the Constitutional Convention, which extended far beyond 
the mere method of administrating public funds, namely this : 



Shall the children be treated as wards of the township and coun- 
ty, or shall they be recognized as wards of the state? And shall 
responsibility for their education be left with the township, or 
with the state? 

In deciding that national grants were given to the state for 
the children of the state, the convention impliedly affirmed that 
the state must assume its share of responsibility, not only in re- 
quiring townships to support their schools, but also in contribut- 
ing to the support of the schools over which they have control. 

This principle was long in receiving substantial recognition 
in state financial support of the common schools. The county 
two and a half mill tax, which had been levied and apportioned 
by counties "in proportion to persons between 4 and 21 years of 
age," had been changed in 1877 what was substantially a com- 
pulsory district one mill tax ; and yet by some this w^as called 
a state mill tax. 

In his report to the legislature of 1879 State Superintendent 
Burt exposed the fallacy of this view, and urged with great force 
the reasonableness and importance of state support for common 
schools. But it was not till 1887 that upon the re-presentation 
of the pressing importance of this matter by State Superintendent 
Kiehle, the principle was recognized, and a state one mill tax 
was levied for the support of common schools. 


As we have noted the beginning of state aid to common 
schools, it seems best to complete the history of this movement 
of state aid down to the present, and to show how large a place it 
has had in promoting education in the rural districts. 

The next step in progress was to offer special aid to districts, 
affording additional advantages for the education of their chil- 
dren in long terms, better prepared teachers, and better equipped 
school buildings. These schools, according to their advancement, 
were classified as rural, semi-graded, and graded schools, and 
state high schools. These schools are placed under special super- 
vision, and are afforded aid ranging from $125 to $1,500 eacli. 

This generous aid of the state has proven a marvelous stim- 
ulus to education. The amounts given have encouraged districts 




to make corresponding expenditures in schoolhouses and equip- 
ment, and instead of making the people dependent upon the 
state they have grown ambitious to do more for themselves. 


In the year 1885 the legislature passed the Hbrary law, 
which provided that districts which make suitable provision for 
the care of their libraries and make purchases of books from the 
authorized list, shall receive one-half the amount expended up 
to ten dollars for the first statement, and five dollars for each 
subsequent statement, these statements being made annually. In 
1895 ^his allowance was doubled. 

By the aid of this appropriation rural and village schools, 
many of which had no books but their ordinary text books, have 
been supplied with the world's choicest literature, in books of 
biography, travel, geography and history, which make the school 
life and study a delight and intellectual growth. 


The State of Minnesota was led in the building up of its ed- 
ucational system by a man w^ho brought with him the classical 
culture of the east, and a broad view of the moral and intellecrual 
demands of an American civilization. Edw^ard D. Neill was '.he 
first territorial superintendent, the first chancellor of the UnK-er- 
sity of Minnesota, and the first State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, in which office he served from April i, i860, to May 
I, 1861. In his first report (i860) he made the following recom- 
mendations : 

1. Provision should be made for county superintendents of 
schools. The township plan of supervision had proven utterly- 

2. The civil township should be made the unit of dist':'ict 

It is noteworthy that, having adhered to the neighborhood 
plan of small districts, we are now trying to remedy the evils of 
small districts by some plan of combining districts and transport- 
ing pupils. 



3. The school fund should be distributed according to scbol- 
ars in attendance, and not according to a census of persons of 
school age. 

This recommendation- was adopted some twenty-five years 

4. A uniform series of text bocks should be provided for 
the state. 

5. Districts should be aided in obtaining school libraries at 
wholesale rates. 

Following Dr. Neill, B. F. Crary was appointed and served 
from May i, 1861, to July i, 1862. In the year 1862 the leg- 
islature abolished the office, and assigned its duties to the Secre- 
tary of State. Under this law David Blakeley and Henry C. 
Rogers served until April i, 1867, at which time the office was 
re-established and ^lark H. Dunnell was appointed. He con- 
tinued to serve under re-appointment till his resignation, August 
I, 1870. 

Mr. Dunnell immediately undertook the more complete or- 
ganization of schools by a revision of school registers and the 
preparation of a complete set of blanks for the use of teachers 
and school officers. He appointed and held meetings with school 
superintendents, which greatly increased popular interest in ed- 
ucation. He organized teachers' institutes for the rural school 
teachers ; and by his personal attention to them, and by his popu- 
lar addresses, he made them powerful for good. 

The resignation of 'Mr. Dunnell was followed by the appoint- 
ment of Horace B. Wilson, who served till the expiration of his 
tliird term, April. 1875. Wilson brought to the office the 

scholarship of a professor of mathematics and the practical ex- 
perience of a county superintendent of schools. His service to 
the state was felt in the enlarged powers and increased duties of 
his office conferred by the legislature upon his recom.mendation. 
Mr. Wilson made five reports, which are of permanent value for 
the able discussions they contain of the leading topics of school 

David Burt succeeded to the office April 5, 1875, and con- 
tinued until his resignation September i, 1881, a few weeks be- 
fore his decease, which occurred September 24th. He came to 
the office from a county superintendency, and for over six years 



diligently fostered every department of the educational system. 
He was a man of penetrating and clear intelligence, able to com- 
pass the whole system in its purpose and plan, and equally able 
to appreciate all details in applications of principles. He urged 
and secured the enactment of the law appropriating school funds 
according to the number of scholars attending school. He made 
a vigorous but unsuccessful opposition to what has been known 
as the state text book law, which provided for the selection of a 
series of books and a fifteen year contract for their supply to the 
schools of the state. The repons of Superintendent Burt contain 
much valuable material, the result of careful research and ar- 

Succeeding Superintendent Burt came David L. Kiehle. tlie 
principal of the State Normal School at St. Cloud and previously 
county superintendent of schools. He served in seven successive 
terms from September i, 1881, to September i, 1893. was his 
•fortune to assume the duties of the office just as the state was ma- 
turing into social and financial power, and prepared to continue 
the organization so well established in previous administrations. 
Taking the work as it came to him, the following are the more 
important measures adopted as parts of the school system during 
his administration : 

1. The more complete organization of institute instruction, 
by which, with an increase of the state appropriation from $3,000 
to $7,000, and with a special conductor provided by each of the 
normal schools, each county of the state has been provided with 
an institute annually. 

2. A State tax of one mill was established, which increased 
the school fund annually appropriated to about $1,000,000. 

3. A public school library fund was established, which 
provided (i) for the selection of a choice list of books by a spec- 
ial commission consisting of the State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction and the presidents of the four state normal schools; 
(2) a payment by the state, up to S20, of one-half of the first or- 
der for books selected by a district, up to $10 of one-half of the 
second order, and up to S5 of one-half of any subsequent order; 
and (3) an annual appropriation of $10,000 to meet the require- 
ments of the law. 

4. A system of summer training schools of four weeks each, 
with a present annual appropriation of $20,000. 




5. The reorganization of the state high school system, and 
the appointment of a high school inspector, as explained else- 
where, by which free secondary tuition is now provided in 141 
State high schools, preparatory to the university and the profes- 
sional schools. 

6. As regent of the university he formulated the plan for 
the School of Agriculture, which has developed to its present pro- 
portions on lines then laid out. 

Upon the resignation of Superintendent Kiehle, William W. 
Pendergast, former Assistant Superintendent of Public Instruc- 
tion, and at this time principal of the School of Agriculture, was 
appointed and continued in service till January 21, 1899. Super- 
intendent Pendergast brought to the office the mature experience 
of a teacher, a county superintendent, and an officer of the de- 
partment; and he discharged the duties of the office with effi- 
ciency and wisdom. 

From January 21, 1899, to January 25, 1901, John H. Lewis 
was appointed and discharged the duties of the office. A teacher 
and city superintendent of schools of long experience, Superin- 
tendent Lewis administered the office with marked energy and 
success. L'pon his recommendation the present system of state 
examination of teachers was established by statute and put into 
successful operation, and the entire system was given a new im- 

Upon the completion of Superintendent Lewis's term, John 
W. Olsen was appointed and has now entered upon his second 
term of service. His record as a successful county superintend- 
ent of schools has commended him to the confidence of the public 
and is the guarantee of a faithful administration. 


By the statute of 1851 the trustees were required to exam- 
ine and license teachers before employing them to teach in the 

By the statute of 1862 the county commissioners were re- 
quired to appoint one man in each commissioner district to visit 
the schools, and to examine and license teachers. The same law 
provided that in their discretion they might appoint one man for 
a whole county to discharge these duties. 




In 1877 the law was amended, making- the office elective, and 
that for all counties. It also fixed the minimum salary at ten dol- 
lars for each district superintended. The law has from time 
to time been further amended to provide for assistance, printing 
and office expenses. 

The history of this office has been one of unrest and dissat- 
isfaction on the part of the superintendents, because of the heavy 
responsibilities laid upon them, and the slow progress which the 
rural schools are making in introducing the better conditions of 
school architecture, support of teachers, and grading of the 


The aid afforded by the state in the improvement of the com- 
mon schools is by no means exhausted with the payment of salar- 
ies and furnishing libraries. It has given generously for the im- 
provement of the teachers themselves. 

Beginning with the present law (1867), re-establishing the 
state superintendency of schools, provision was made for a sys- 
tem of state institutes under the direction of Superintendent 
Mark H. Dunnell. with an appropriation of $3,000. By the aid 
of this fund teachers have annually been called together in the 
counties of the state and instructed in whatever seemed helpful 
in tlie organization and instruction of their schools. 

The early stage of this work was in short institutes of a few 
days, and generally extended to a week. In 1891 the ajppropria- 
tion was increased to $12,000, in order to provide for summer 
schools for teachers, in which more systematic academic and pro- 
fessional instruction should be given for a longer term of not less 
than four weeks. During the first season fourteen schools were 
held, with an aggregate enrollment of 1,210. 

In the second season (1892), the university summer school 
for both elementary and advanced work, and for the improvement 
of teachers in both graded and high schools, was opened, and it 
has been continued to the present time. In 1901 the term of this 
school was increased to six weeks. The first enrollment was 741, 
and it has steadily increased to 1,107 19^2. 

The annual appropriation for institutes and summer schools 
has been increased to $27,000. 



But the crowning support of the state for the improvement 
of its common schools has been in the recognition of teaching 
as a profession, and in requiring the special training of teachers. 
The normal schools were the result of this movement. 

The revival of common school education dates from the ser- 
vices of Horace Mann, who, as secretary of the Board of Edu- 
cation of Massachusetts (1837) gave his splendid talent and 
great enthusiasm to the improvement of the schools of the people. 
The period from 1830 to 1870 may be considered the revival pe- 
riod of popular education. Although the common school had 
been planted, and the principle acknowledged, the real interest 
even in common schools had positively declined. It is one thing 
to recognize in reason a principle or doctrine, but quite a differ- 
ent thing to incorporate it into the life and habits of a people. 
It was so in the organization of our government, and was equally 
true of our school system. This lethargy concerning public schools 
was not because of indifference to education, and does not sig- 
nify that there were no good schools. On the contrary, the 
colleges and academies had increased in number and efficiency. 
In every town select schools, seminaries, and academies, were 
taught by young men graduated from the colleges. The result 
was that the better class of families were separated in their com- 
mon associations and interests from the common people. 

Yet the schools and colleges of higher education furnished 
the very men of broad vision and democratic spirit who became 
the wise friends and champions of popular education. They 
caught the idea from Germany, and under the leadership of men 
like Rev. Charles Brooks of Massachusetts, Horace Mann and 
Edmund' Dwight, and with the moral support of statesmen, as 
Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams, the normal schools wer j 
established in Massachusetts. 

To Winona belongs the honor of giving first expression in 
Minnesota to this new movement for the improvement of our 
schools. In 1858 Dr. John D. Ford, through the legislative dele- 
gation from Winona county, secured the passage of the bill estab- 
lishing three normal schools at Winona, Mankato and St. 
Cloud. Through the generous donations of its citizens the 




first normal school was opened in the city of Winona on 
the first Monday in September, i860, with Professor John Og- 
den of Columbus, Ohio, as its principal "To the credit of this 
normal board and its secretary,' Dr. Ford, it may be said that the 
first state tax for school purposes was authorized and levied upon 
their urgent recommendation." 

In 1861 Professor Ogden resigned the principalship for the 
purpose of joining the Union Army. After another term, ow- 
ing to the disturbed condition of the country, the school was sus- 
pended to be re-opened in 1864 under the principalship of Pro- 
fessor William F. Phelps, of New York, and recently of the State 
Normal School of New Jersey. 

The first appropriation was of $3,000 for the first year, $4,- 
000 for the second, and $5,000 annually thereafter. 

The second normal school was opened in Mankato in October, 
1868; and the third in St. Cloud in September, 1869. The fourth 
was opened in Moorhead in September, 1888, and the fifth in 
Duluth in September, 1902. These centers of training for teach- 
ers" have had a continuous growth, and have exerted a powerful 
influence in the education of the state. 


The organization of any institution or system is only com- 
plete when provision is made for efficient service. Having fur- 
nished opportunities for a preparation to teach, the state has im- 
proved the means by which the public is able to make reasonable 
discrimination in the selection of teachers for their schools. The 
plan in its present fonn was recommended by State Superintend- 
ent John H. Lewis, and was enacted by the legislature of 1899. 
Its main features are these: 

1. All examinations are held on the same days in the sev- 
<^ral counties of the state under the supervision of the respective 
county superintendents, upon questions prepared by the state de- 
partment of public instruction, and under instructions fixed by 
that department. 

2. All papers are forwarded to the state department, and are 
passed upon by a corps of examiners. 

3. Certificates are graded as follows: First grade, good 
for five years ; and second grade, good for two years. These are 


issued only to persons who have satisfactory academic *and pro- 
fessional preparation. Certificates of the first grade are valid in 
any county of the state ; and those of the second grade are vaHd 
in the county in which the examination is held, and in any other 
county upon the endorsement of its county superintendent. The 
law also provides for local third grade certificates, good for a 
single year in a given district. 

The statute of 1885 provides that the diplomas of the state 
normal schools shall be valid as certificates of the first grade for 
two years, and that upon satisfactory evidence of success in 
teaching as given by the endorsement of the Superintendent of 
Public Instruction and the president of the normal school issuing 
the diploma, that of the elementary course shall be valid as a 
state certificate for five years, and that of the advanced course 
shall be a permanent certificate of qualification. 

This survey of our common school system, including the ap- 
pended tables, completes the financial and educational history of 
this first part of the entire system. 


We now come to the history of secondary and higher educa- 
tion as embodied in our state university and high schools. The 
development of state universities is a democratic movement in 
which the people control the organization of higher education 
in their own interests. It has three phases: I. The financial sup- 
port provided by the people ; 2. The adaptation of the curriculum 
to the needs of the people ; and 3. The articulation of higher ed- 
ucation with elementary education in the development of high 
schools of secondary education. These will give us the ordei of 
our treatment. 

We recognize at the outset that the great men of our re- 
public, who laid the foundations of our government and outlined 
w^ith quite prophetic vision the order of our western civilization, 
made generous provision for the education of the people. In 
1 85 1 upon recommendation of Crovernor Ramsey, the legislature 
memorialized Congress for a grant of 100,000 acres of public 
lands for the endowment of a university. The same year Con- 
gress appropriated two townships (46,080 acres) for the support 


of a university in the Territory of Minnesota. Next, in the act 
of Congress passed February 26, 1857, authorizing a state gov- 
ernment, it was provided "that seventy-two sections of land shall 
be set app.ic and reserved for the use and support of a state uni- 
versity." This was construed by the regents of the university as 
in additional grant to the state, and not a mere confirmation of 
the former territorial grant. However, the Commissioner of the. 
General Land Office refused to take this view, and, after repeated 
presentations of their claim by the regents, the matter was finally 
settled by a congressional grant, July 8, 1870, "to the full amount 
of seventy-two sections mentioned in the act of Congress ap- 
proved Feb. 26, 1857/' Of the territorial grant. 36,560 acres 
had been selected, so making the total land grant to the state uni- 
versity 82,640 acres. 

The history of the university, from the date of its establish- 
ment by the territorial legislature, in February, 1851, to that of its 
reorganization under its present charter of February 18, 1868, is 
one of continuous struggle against adverse circumstances, a pre- 
matui e organization under the stress of a frontier enthusiasm and 
hopefulness, which resulted in financial embarrassment and the 
suspension of the educational department. 


The first building was erected in ^Minneapolis on a site don- 
ated by Franklin Steele, near Central avenue, and near what is 
known as the Exposition Building. This was a two-story frame 
structure, 50 by 30 feet, and costing $2,500. With two rooms 
finished, a private school was opened by Rev. E. W. Merrill, to 
whom the regents gave the use of the building. Beginning with 
25 students, it increased to 65. "In 1854 the building was trans- 
ferred to other hands in a compromise regarding the title, which 
proved defective." Mr. Merrill was appointed Superintendent 
<~>f Public Instruction, and the school was closed. 

The site of the present campus w^as located in 1854 by the 
purchase of twenty-seven acres at a cost of $6,000. Private con- 
tributions were made to the amount of $1,000, and the remainder 
'•vas secured by mortgage with interest at twelve per cent. In 
1856 the legislature authorized the regents to issue bonds "to an 



amount not exceeding the sum of $15,000 with interest thereon 
not exceeding twelve per cent per annum, of said sum $5,000 to be 
applied in liquidation of a debt incurred in the purchase of a site 
for said university, and $10,000 to be expended under the direc- 
tion of the board of regents in erecting suitable buildings for 
the same these bonds to be secured by mortgage on "any UwU 
now belonging or which may hereafter belong to the said univer- 
sity." The regents with $10,000 in hand, by a bare majority vote, 
adopted plans for a fine four-story building, 277 feet in length, 
and let the contract for the erection of one wing, now the rear 
part of the present "Main building,'' for the sum of $49,000. 

The financial crisis of 1857 proved 'fatal to this venture. Tu 
save what they had the legislature extended the authority of the 
regents to issue bonds for $40,000 in addition, to be likewise se- 
cured by mortgage on the lands of the university. In 1859 the 
building was completed at a cost of $65,000. For eight years it 
remained unused, and nothing seemed to prosper excepting the 
interest on the debt, a part of which was at twenty per cent. 

In 1858 Rev. E. D. Neill was elected Chancellor, and about a 
year later he was made Superintendent of Public Instruction 
ex-ofiicio, from which position he resigned in 1861 -to enter the 

By an act of the legislature, approved February 14, i860, the 
university was reorganized. Under this act the board of regents 
was made to consist of the "Governor, Lieutenant Governor, 
Chancellor of the University, and five electors of the state, ap- 
pointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of 
the Senate." It also provided for a "department for the training 
of teachers for the common schools of the state." 

In their report to the governor, dated December i, i860, the 
regents made the following statement of the indebtedness of the 
university in amounts due: 

Site . . . 
Bonds . 

$ 4333-34 


J. G. Riheldaffer 

Isaac x\twater (probably) 
Accumulated interest . . . 






By act of legislature, approved March 8, 1862, the regents 
were "authorized and empowered in their discretion to arrange, 
compromise or liquidate any existing indebtedness," and "to 
grant, bargain, or sell and convey to the holder or holders of any 
such indebtedness, upon such terms as shall be agreed upon, any 
or all the lands heretofore granted or reserved by Congress for 
the use and support of a state or territorial university." 

In 1864 a new board of regents was named, to wit, O. C. 
Merriman and John S. Pillsbury of Minneapolis, and John Nicols 
of St. Paul, for a term of two years. Each was required to give 
bonds in the sum of $25,000. The specific duties of the beard 
were to adjust the indebtedness already referred to; and for this 
purpose they were authorized to make sales, not to exceed 12,000 
acres, of the lands donated by the United States for university 

To the financial ability and the disinterested services of the 
three men w-ho constituted this new board, the state is indebted 
for the removal of the incubus of that great debt. Such services 
are so dependent upon quiet shrewdness, and upon personal in- 
fluence that never comes to light, that no record can be made of 
the details of their labors. Suffice it to say, that as men prom- 
inent in afifairs of politics and business, m.en held in highest es- 
teem by their fellow citizens of the cities and the state in w'hich 
they lived, and highly appreciative of the higher educational in- 
terests of the state, they gave the best they had in time and la- 
bor to the adjustment of these vexing claims. 

This special mention of the names of Mr. Merriman and 
Mr. Nicols, associated with Mr. Pillsbury in this important ser- 
vice, is the more appropriate by reason of the fact that the con- 
tinued service of 'Mr. Pillsbury in the interest of the university 
from that day to the day of his decease, in 1901, has made him so 
renowned, as the "Father of the University," that we are in dan- 
ger of forgetting how in his earliest service, and at a time when 
prospects were darkest, these two men, ^Mr. Merriman and Mr. 
Nicols, stood with him, and divided with him the labor of extri- 
cating the university from its impending peril. In the day of our 
university's greatest prosperity, let the names of these three men 
be mentioned together as its financial saviors in the darkest day of 
its history. In a word, the indebtedness was finally cancelled 
with the proceeds of 15,000 acres, so leaving in the possession of 


the university some 30,000 acres of selected lands of the territorial 

We now come to the threshold of a new era of substantial 
prosperity and development for the university. 


At this point it is fitting that we note, once for all, that this 
later history of the university cannot be written without making 
it likewise a history of Regent John S. Pillsbury. From 1863, 
the date of his first appointment as regent, he continued in that 
relation to the time of his decease. As private citizen, as .^tate 
senator, and as governor (iSy6-S2), for thirty-eight long years 
the university was his constant care. 

His financial ability was given to the management and in- 
crease of its revenues, in the selection of its public land'r, and in 
the expenditure of its funds, from the purchase of the agricul- 
tural farm and the erection of buildings down to auditing the 
individual bills for current expenses. Whenever the university 
needed his credit, or an advance of his money to meet an exigen- 
cy, without ostentation, he freely advanced it. Whenever a friend 
of the university, or a member of the faculty, or an undergradu- 
ate student, wished to consult him upon any matter that related 
to education in the university, his house was open and a wel- 
come given. For the university he lived : he endured detraction 
in the most troublous times — and that is when calumniators are 
most active — he sacrificed leisure and comfort, and gave as a 
memento of his enduring interest one of the imposing halls that 
adorns the campus and now bears his name. 

And, finally, those who received from him, and who loved 
to honor him, have erected their own testimonial to his memory 
in the statue of bronze that stands upon and adorns the campus, 
that it may bring to our m.emories the features that express tlie 
nobility of his character and the beneficence of his service to tno 
university and to the state. 


In his message to the second legislature (1851) Governor 
Ramsey recommended that a university be established; and by 



act approved February 13, 185 1, the University of Minnesota 
was established. The important provisions of this act were: (i) 
That a board of twelve regents be elected by the legislature for a 
term of six years : (2) That the university be located at or near 
the Falls of St. Anthony; (3) .That the regents shall have control 
of all funds appropriated for the erection of buildings and other 
necessary equipment of the university, and also of all lands 
granted by Congress for the maintenance of higher education. 

The first board of regents consisted of Isaac Atwater, J. 
B. Thurber, William R. iMarshall, B. B. Meeker, Socrates Nelson, 
Henry M. Rice, Alexander Ramsey, Henry H. Sibley, C. K. 
Smith, Franklin Steele, N. C. D. Taylor, and Abraham Van 
Vorhes. Edward D. Ueill was elected Chancellor, and became 
ex-officio Territorial Superintendent of Public Instruction. 

The succeeding years were years of struggle with the finan- 
cial conditions of the university, as has been already noted, so 
that until the settlement of these difficulties in the payment of 
debts and in the increase of the government grants of 1862, and 
the added university grant of 1870, the imiversity was practically 
without an educational history. With the encouragement of free- 
dom from debt, With the general prosperity of the state, and 
v^ith a state appropriation of $15,000 — the first one by the state 
for the university — for repairs and furnishings for the building, 
a preparatory department w-as opened in October, 1867, with W. 
W. Washburn as principal, and Gabriel Campbell and Ira Moore, 
assistants. The report of the principal for the second year (1868) 
shows a faculty of five and an attendance of 100. 


In 1869, Colonel William W. Folwell was elected to the pres- 
idency of the university. This year began with a facultv^ of nine, 
an enrollment of 217 in the preparatory department, and a fresh- 
men class of thirteen, of whom two were graduated in 1873 ^^^^ 
the B.A. degree. 

The administration of President Folwell continued fiom 
1869 to 1883, and as acting president to June, 1884, a term of fif- 
teen years. In its academic history, this corresponds to the finan- 
cial history of the university ; it was a period of ferment and ex- 
periment, all tending toward permanent organization. 


The general lack of preparatory schools made the instruc- 
tion of the university largely preparatory, having three classes 
below the freshman year. The small collegiate enrollm.ent and 
the poverty of the state required that professors teach in several 
lines at the same time, as that French was taught by the profes- 
sor of chemistry, in addition to geolog\% mineralogy, botany, and 
physiology-. The curriculum was mainly the traditional one of 
classical colleges, Greek, Latin, mathematics, and philosophy; 
history and the natural sciences held a subordinate rank. 

The educational problems of those days were quite as press- 
ing as those of the present, and in some cases occasioned personal 
feelings and antagonisms similar to those of the financial world. 
First, the question of co-education came up at the opening of the 
university under Principal Washburn. College traditions had al- 
ways limited the privileges of higher education to men ; and this 
view was represented by the new faculty in opposing the admis- 
sion of women as students in the university. The regents were 
more responsive to the growing popular sentiment, and, over- 
ruling the judgment of the faculty, decided in favor of admitting 
'women on equal footing with men. 

The second stage of progress came under the administration 
of President Folwell, the articulation of the industrial sciences 
and departments with the college of science, literature, and the 
arts. The charter had provided for the establishing of "five or 
more colleges or departments, that is to say, a department of 
elementary instruction, a college of science, literature and the 
arts, a college of agriculture and the mechanic arts, including 
military tactics, a college or department of law, and also a col- 
lege or department of medicine." The land grant already con- 
sidered applied particularly to the college of science, literature, 
and the arts. For a "college of agriculture, including military 
tactics," a grant was made by Congress in 1862. To this we shall 
refer later. 


The administration of President Northrop opened in 1884. 
and has been continuous to the present time. It may be justly 
named the era of expansion. The lines of development had be- 
come defined. The personal antagonisms that arose from finan- 





cial embarrassments and personal differences as to educational 
policy had disappeared. The state had become populous and 
wealthy, the system of preparatory instruction in high schools 
had become well developed, and the land grant endowment had 
become large and productive. The people felt strong and aspir- 
ing, and the regents sought the man who with a broad vision 
could comprehend the situation, could harmonize the active 
forces and give freedom of growth to each as the times de- 

Such a man they found in Cyrus Northrop of New Haven. 
Under his wise administration the university has won the entire 
confidence of the public, has received the generous support of 
the legislature in greatly increased appropriations, and an increase 
in students in every department, from 310 in 1884, of whom a 
' large part were in the preparatory department, to over 3,500 in 
all departments at the present time. During this time the sev- 
eral departments contemplated in the charter have been organ- 
ized and developed. The accompanying tables will show the 
dates of organization and the annual enrollment. 



! consists of (i) Income from United States land grants; (2) 
! Government money appropriations; (3) The "^/loo state mill tax; 
(4) Tuitions in the law and medical departments; and (5) Reg- 
istration fees in the academic departments. 

The land grants consist of the University grant which we 
have considered, and the Agricultural College land grant of 1862, 
I appropriating 120,000 acres for the benefit of agriculture and 
the mechanic arts. As we shall later refer to this grant and its 
history, it is sufficient to say that by an act of legislature ap- 
proved Februar\- 18, 1868, the two grants were merged, and the 
fund accruing from the sale of the lands is now known as the 
Pennanent University Fund. 

For the further encouragement of education in agriculture 
and the mechanic arts. Congress by act approved August 3, 1890, 
made a standing appropriation for this and other states of $i5r 
000 the first year, with an increase of Si, 000 each succeeding 
year until it should reach the sum of $25,000, at which sum it 
should remain permanent. 



The appropriations by the state have been for buildings, 
equipment, and current expenses. For the latter a standing- ap- 
propriation of ^Vioo of a mill was voted in 1893, increased to 
^Vioo in 1895. and to -'Vioo in 1897, upon the assessed valuaiion 
of the property of the state. 

Table IV, accompanying this narrative, gives the aggregate 
amounts received from all sources for the support of the univer- 
sity, normal schools, and other state schools, as reported by the 
State Auditor. 


In 1884 there was bu^ one of the present group of buildings 
on the campus — the ^lain building. Since that time nineteen 
new buildings have been added to the campus, and eighteen to 
the campus of the School of Agriculture and Experiment Sta- 
tion. The aggregate expenditure of the state for all the Univer- 
sity buildings has been $1,450,642. 


We have already observed that a history of education is 
more than a record of the increase of its material resources m 
funds and buildings. These are the foundation and framework 
of a successful system ; but the history itself, that in which all 
else finds its value, is in its adaptation to the developing life of 
the people. The ancient university and all its colleges belonged 
to an aristocratic civilization. The state university belongs to 
the people, and, accordingly, must be democratic. It must not 
only be great as the crown and ornament of the people's schools, 
but it must be greatest in service. 

It has been the fortune of Minnesota to develop its institu- 
tions at a time when the great industrial problems of our modern 
civilization are pressing upon us, and our history must, there- 
fore, be a contribution to their solution. 


By an act of the legislature approved March 10, 1858. a 
quantity of land in McLeod county was "set aside for the pur- 



pose of an experimental farm and a site for an Agricultural Col- 
lege/' to be ''under the control of the President and Executive 
Committee of the State Agricultural Society,'' The Board of 
Education of the Agricultural College was to consist of twelve 
members, to be elected by the State Agricultural Society. In 
1 86 1 the legislature donated to this college all the ''swamp lands*' 
within the boundaries of ^vIcLeod county. The conditions of the 
times in financial stringency during the Indian war and the Civil 
war prevented all action under this law, and nothing was done 
until after the war, in 1866. 

The Legislature on January 27, 1863, had accepted the Agri- 
cultural land grant from the United States, given by an act of Con- 
gress approved July 2, 1862, to the several states for the support 
of colleges of agriculture and the mechanic arts, "an amount of 
public land equal to 30,000 acres for each Senator and Represent- 
ative in Congress to which the states are respectively entitled 
under the census of 1860/' and had authorized the Commissioner 
of the General Land Office to select the lands donated. This' 
donation of lands and the close of the war revived the interests 
of the Agricultural College, and the question pressed for de- 
cision, What disposition shall be made of the agricultural land 
grant ? 

The presumption was in favor of the agricultural college 
already established. The state university having provided in its 
charter for the organization of a college of agriculture and me- 
chanic arts, it was urged by the representatives of the university 
that the best interests of the state and of the industries named 
in the grant would be served by uniting this with the university 
grant in the support of a college of agriculture and mechanic 
arts as a department of the university. The financial condition 
of the university was still uncertain, and the regents, Pillsbury, 
Merriman, and Xicols, were not yet ready to report. Therefore, 
to meet the exigencies of 1866, and to preserve the grant intact, 
under the rrianagement of Senator Pillsbury, by an act approved 
March 2, 1866, the grant was made over to the Agricultural Col- 
lege at Glencoe. In 1867 the regents reported the university 
indebtedness liquidated, with 32,000 acres of the territorial grant 
still in possession of the university. 

Here I may well quote from an address of Regent Pillsbury 
before the alumni of the university: "The friends of Air. Hill 



[representing the Glencoe Agricultural College] held a con- 
ference with the Senator from East Hennepin [Regent Pills- 
bury], on the question of uniting the Agricultural College grant 
with that of the University, as it was apparent to them that tliev 
could not obtain appropriations for buildings, and that the grant 
was likely to be divided up among the normal schools, the Sen- 
ator advocating that it would be much better for Hill's institu- 
tion, the university, the state, the friends of agriculture and of 
education, to consolidate the two grants, and thus make a good, 
strong educational institution, which view Mr. Hill and his 
friends finally accepted, with the provision that the swamp lands 
which had been granted by the state to the agricultural college 
should be re-granted to the County of McLeod, to endow Stev- 
ens Seminary, which seminary was to be organized and estab- 
lished by an act of that present Legislature. The friends of each 
institution were to co-operate in the passage of the bill to con- 
solidate the Agricultural College grant with the University, and 
to endow Stevens Seminar}^ by the transfer of the swamp lands 
formerly granted by the state to the Agricultural College." 

The act of consolidation was approved February i8, 1868. 
"An act to estabUsh Stevens Seminary and endow the same with 
4,684 acres of swamp land, was also passed by the Legislature 
and became a law on March 6, 1868." It was recognized at the 
time, and is still w^ell known to our older citizens, that the leading 
responsibility and management of this plan of transfer was with 
the Senator and Regent Pillsbury. To this interest he gave his 
individual attention and efforts until its final accomplishment. 

With the remains of the territorial grant, the state univer- 
sity grant, made in 1870. and the agricultural grant of 120,000 
acres, the university had an available endowment of some 200,- 
000 acres for its support. The increase of the Permanent Fund 
accruing from the sale of lands will be seen in the table attached. 

Minnesota followed the example of Wisconsin, in establish- 
ing a College of Agriculture as a department of the university, 
while Michigan and Iowa were of those states which separated 
their industrial colleges from the university, and organized them 
in distinct institutions. Beginning with 1868, the date of the 
present charter, an experimental farm of 96 acres, located just 
east of the campus, was purchased for $8,500, and Professor E. 



H. Twining was elected to the department of Science and Agri- 
culture. A preparatory course of two years was offered "adapt- 
ed to the wants of students fitting for the agricultural college." 
The studies of the first year were arithmetic, grammar and com- 
position, geography, algebra, and physiolog}- ; and of the sec- 
ond year, algebra, bookkeeping, natural philosophy, and chem- 

For the following twenty years the history of this depart- 
ment is one of struggle and experiment to satisfy the demand for 
an agricultural education. In his first report President Folwell 
gave his estimate of the importance of high intellectual training 
for students of agriculture, and said that ''mere manual dexterity 
and technical cleverness are not the final wants of American 
farmers and artisans." In his report to the Legislature, the Pres- 
ident of the Board of Regents said : "Thus far, all the students 
who have desired work have been employed in taking care of 
the university buildings, the farm, and the grounds. The num- 
ber of students who signify the desire to pursue the agricultural 
course continues to be small. But all things are in readiness, 
and we only need to have the farmers send their sons to put this 
department in a flourishing condition." 


By legislative authority, granted in 1881, the regents pro- 
ceeded to the sale of the old experimental farm, and to re-invest 
in the one now occupied. In this transaction Regent Pillsbury 
assumed the entire responsibility, and gave his time and financial 
skill toward gaining the greatest possible advantage to the de- 
partment of agriculture, and with a heartiness as if the profits 
were to be his own. Under his direction the old farm was plat- 
ted into some three hundred lots, and at public auction. October 
II, 1882, one-half of them were sold for $47,400. 

The new farm was known as the *'Bass Farm," located on 
the Como road, between the Twin Cities, and consisted of 155 
acres. This was bought for $200 an acre, or $31,000. The en- 
tire surplus, after paying for the new farm, was devoted to its 
improvement and the erection of buildings for the accommoda- 
tion of the department of agriculture. 



And yet the problem of agricultural education was not 
solved. Whether the farmers them.selves were really readv to 
support the department, or whether what was offered was ad- 
apted to the agricultural conditions and demands, was in dispute. 
It appears from the records, that for twenty-five years the depart- 
ment of agriculture was almost literally without patronage. One, 
two, and three students was the limit of enrollment; and one 
graduate in each of the years 1880, '83, '85, and '87, was the re- 
sult in the completed course. 


In 1887, and again in 1889, a bill was introduced in the 
Legislature separating the Agricultural College and land grant 
from the University, and placing them under a separate board 
as a separate institution. But in the intervening year, 1888, ac- 
cording to plans suggested by Regent Kiehle, a School of Agri- 
culture was established by the University, holding sessions only 
from October until April. The school opened under the prin- 
cipalship of William W. Pendergast, with an enrollment of for- 
ty-seven students. From the first, this school was a standing 
protest against the plan of separation, and the immediate and 
continued success of the school caused all opposition to melt 

Under the wise management of its officers and instructors 
it has merited and won the enthusiastic support of the agricul- 
turists of the state, and has received from the legislature every 
appropriation asked for in buildings and equipment; and it has 
become the center about which have clustered the experiment 
station, farmers' institutes, dairy schools, and the stated agricul- 
tural meetings. 

In 1897, upon the motion of the farmers themselves, it was 
determined to open a department for the daughters of farmers, 
in which the aim should be the culture and education of home- 
makers. It has been made to include the culture of home life 
the domestic occupations of the complete home in domestic sci- 
ence, cooking, sewing, dairying, horticulture, and whatever 
promises to make the home of the prosperous American fanner 
wholesome and attractive. For the care, comfort, and home cul- 




ture of these young ladies, the state has provided most liberal ac- 
commodations in buildings, equipment, and instruction. 

The appended table shows that in the fourteen years of the 
existence of this school the attendance of young men has in- 
creased from 47 in 1880 to 328 in 1902; and the total number of 
graduates is 353. Of these graduates, 82^per cent, are employed 
at present in agriculture and the allied branches. In the young 
ladies' department, during the five years of its existence, the 
enrollment has grown from 33 in 1898 to 122 in 1902; and the 
graduates from three in 1899 23 in 1902. 

The support which this school gives to the College of Agri- 
culture appears in this, that the aggregate enrollment in this 
college for the period of the school has been 179. 


The professional colleges of law and medicine have, for 
many centuries, been identified with university education, and 
have been patronized by the students of gfovernment and science. 
These colleges were readily and naturally opened as the regents 
considered the time propitious. 

The Department of ^Medicine, the outgrowth of the medical 
examining board established in 1883, was organized in 1888, 
with Dr. Perry H. Millard as its first dean. In buildings, lab- 
oratories, and general equipment, it is thoroughly provided, and 
sustains a four year course. It contains the Colleges of i. Medi- 
cine and Surgery: 2, Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery; 3, 
Dentistry; and 4, Pharmacy. The total enrollment of all its col- 
leges for the last year (i90i-'o2) w^as 551, and the number of 
alumni is 728. 

The College of Law was organized in 1888 under the dean- 
ship of W. S. Pattee, LL.D. Its development has been rapid 
in enrollment, and its curriculum takes high rank for its schol- 
arship and thoroughness. Its enrollment for 1901-02 w^as 503: 
and its alumni number 857. 


The complete history of the university, in the organization of 
its departments to meet the demands of modern life, requires a 



record of the development of the department of pedagogy-, or 
the science of education. A half century ago, the public mind 
was impressed with the importance of the common schools, and 
with the necessity for trained teachers. This was known as the 
normal school movement, of which we have already treated. In 
laying the broad foundations of the university this interest was 
recognized, and in the act of 185 1, establishing the university, it 
was provided that the ''university shall consist of five depart- 
ments," one of these being ''the department of the theory and 
practice of elementary instruction." Again, after the organiza- 
tion of the state, the legislature, in i860, provided that "there 
shall also be a department for the training of teachers for the 
common schools of the state, in which shall be taught the theory 
and practice of teaching, and everything that will tend to perfect 
the elementary and other schools of the state." It is well worth 
while that we recognize the democratic attitude of the friends of 
the university, and their interest in the improvement of all the 
schools of the state. In the years following, the normal schools, 
in this as in other states, became the leaders in elementary edu- 
cation, and were devoted to the single purpose of training teach- 
ers for the common schools. 

Accordingly, and, as it seems, naturally, in the reorgan^'za- 
tion of the university under its present charter (1868), this sec- 
tion, and all expressed provision for a department of pedagog}'. 
w^s omitted. But that was a generation ago. In the meantime 
America has been under the intellectual influence and direction of 
Germany, from whom she learned her first lessons in the phil- 
osophy of education as applied to elementary schools. 

Our teacliers have learned in the universities of Germany 
that education is a process subject to physical and mental laws, 
that cause and effect rule as absolutely in the domain of educa- 
tion as in that of mechanics, though on a plane immeasurubly 
higher, and that conscious and intelligent skill is not to be limit- 
ed to the care of children. They saw the technical and classical 
schools of Germany taught by university men trained to their 
work professionally, and with results that put our own to shame. 
Gradually, the sentiment strengthened in America that teaching 
is a profession, and that the principles of pedagog>' are as applic- 
able to our schools of secondary education as to our primary. 



This movement was felt in our own university. x\s early as 1873, 
President Folwell, in his report to the regents, said : "'I am of 
the opinion that after some years it will be desirable to open in 
the university, as the proper place, a normal aepartment for train- 
ing teachers of higher schools.'' 

The first response to this advancing sentiment appeared in 
1885, when Harry P. Judson, Professor of History, was appoint- 
ed to give a special course of lectures on teaching. In 1893, by 
unanimous vote of the regents, the chair of pedagogy was es- 
tablished, and to its duties D. L. Kiehle was appointed. 

That the decision to establish this department was timely 
and wise is evident from these facts : that the legislature, in sup- 
port of secondary or high schools, has required that all gradu- 
ates of the university who were to be recognized as qualified 
teachers in high schools must have pursued the prescribed cours- 
es of pedagogy ; that the classes of this department, according to 
its last report (1902), had 102 members, and that of the gradu- 
ating class 40 per cent, of the whole number, and 60 per cent, 
of the ladies, held the University Teacher's Certificate. 


In early education, all emphasis was placed on the two ex- 
tremes, the common schools for the people at large, and the col- 
lege or university for the higher classes ; and so there was an im- 
passable gap between the two. The traditional feeder to the col- 
lege of the eastern states was the academy and the private school. 
In the west these intermediate schools were generally wanting. 
On the other hand, our com.mon schools had no intermediate 
school to which they could promote, and especially none in 
which to prepare for the university. 

And hence the history of high schools must be studied from 
the two directions, the demands of the common schools, that 
their more ambitious and capable students be given a better pre- 
paration for business and industrial life ; and also of the univer- 
sity, for a proper preparation of its entering classes. 

As was reasonable, the representatives of these two interests 
co-operated in establishing, as a third subdivision of our^ school 
system, the state high school, which is unique in its twofold re- 



lation, as (i) the academy of the university, and (2) the col- 
lege of the people. The opposition that attaches to all progres- 
sive movements at the first declaimed against taxing the public 
for more than rudimentary education, while these same objectors 
were sending their sons to a state-supported university. How- 
ever, the principle of an entire system of public education pre- 
vailed, and development began. 

" In 1853 Superintendent E. D. Neill secured the enactment 
of a law providing that, ''The trustees of any two or more dis- 
tricts may, by a concurrent vote, agree to establish a grammar 
school for the older and more advanced children of such dis- 
trict." The word "grammar" was used in its traditional sense 
to include the classical and other languages. 

In i860 the legislature authorized the City of St. Anthony 
to establish ''two grammar schools," and "a central high school, 
where instruction in the higher English branches shall be given." 
This law, amended the following year to include the teachinc> of 
the languages, was the beginning of our high school movement. 

But the period of the positive advance of our high schools, 
both in number and in scholarship, dates from the time when 
they came under the inspiring and moulding influence of the uni- 
versity and the state. In 1869 President Folwell, in his first 
report to the regents, said : "Our system of public instruction 
will not be an organized whole until the 'Secondary schools' arc 
graded, not merely with reference to the primary schools below, 
but to th^ university above." 


The legislature of 1878 passed the first state high school law, 
embodying these features: (i) A State High School Board 
consisting of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, the 
President of the University, and a third member to be appointed 
by the governor. ( 2) The sum of $400 was apportioned to each 
graded school which (a) admitted properly prepared students 
free of tuition; (b) gave instruction fitting for the sub-freshman 
class; and (c) should agree to the inspection of its classes by 
the high school board. 

Mr. Qiarles S. Bryant was appointed as a member of the 
board, and acted as its inspector with an earnest and intelligent 



enthusiasm. To the legislature of 1879 State Superintendent 
Burt reported 33 schools in which Latin was taught to 628 pupils, 
and in six of these schools Greek was taught to 46. The appro- 
priation for this encouragement of higher education was $8,000, 
but by an oversight it was not made annual. Hence, after one 
year its operation was suspended. 

In 1 88 1 the law was re-enacted with several amendments, 
chiefly the following: 

(1) The Governor, ex-officio, was made the third member 
of the board. (In 1901 the third member was made appointive.) 

(2) High schools shall provide "orderly courses of study 
embracing all the branches prescribed as a pre-requisite for ad- 
mission to the collegiate department of the University of Minne- 

(3) The board may appoint "competent persons to visit and 
inspect any schools, and to make report thereon." 

(4) "The board shall have power to establish suitable rules 
and regulations relating to examinations, reports, acceptance of 
schools, courses of study, and other proceedings under this act." 

(5) The sum of $20,000 was appropriated annually for the 
purposes of this act. 

The operation of this new law began with the administration 
of D. L. Kiehle as state superintendent of public instruction, and 
ex-officio member of the high school board. 

In the larger interests of the high schools, completing the 
education of many for the business life, as well as fitting others 
ffr the higher education of the university, the superintendent of 
public instruction recommended that the board enlarge and em- 
phasize the policy hitherto adopted, and, besides looking im- 
mediately and chiefly to the interests of the university in the sup- 
ervision of high schools, that the board adopt a more general plan 
of building up these high schools in proportions answering to 
their twofold relations ; and this by means of more definite rules, 
requiring thoroughly prepared teachers, a well-balanced course 
of study, a classification of the schools according to their advance- 
ment, a systematic written examination of classes by the board, 
and issuing the certificates of the board tostudents passing, which 
Certificates should be accepted in lieu of entrance examinations 
to the university. This plan was approved and adopted by the 



board, and at once was set in operation. The president of the 
university took charge of the examinations, and the Superinten- 
dent of Public Instruction, as secretary, looked after the inspec- 
tion and general business of the board. 

In 1893 the legislature authorized the appointment of an in- 
spector of State high schools at a reasonable compensation. 
Under this act George B. Aiton was appointed inspector. Under 
his diligent and wise administration to the present time, the high 
schools have attained to a degree of efficiency in number and 
scholarship that makes them the pride of the state. 

The number of high schools has increased from 39 in 1881 
to 141 in 1902. The annual appropriation for their support has 
increased from $20,000 in 1881 to $217,000 in 1903; and for the 
support of the individual schools, from $400 in 1881 to $1000 m 
1902, and to $1600 in 1903, with the provision that in case the 
amount appropriated will not suffice, the appropriation shall be 
apportioned pro rata. 

A detailed enumeration of the features of progress in our 
high schools is impossible within these limitations. In number, 
in buildings, in equipment, in apparatus and libraries, and in the 
liberal provision made for instruction, these schools have kept 
abreast of the age, and now fill completely the gap that once ex- 
isted between the common schools and the university. 


The supervising authority of the state high school board has 
been further extended to include the graded schools, numbering 
119, which have been already reported as the advanced common 
schools articulating with the high schools. They receive <=tate 
aid annually to the amount of $550 each, and are under the in- 
spection of Albert W. Rankin, an appointee of the board, who has 
served in that relation to the present time. 


The marked improvement of the high schools and the grad- 
•ed schools under the influence of the aid given by the state in 
money and stricter supervision determined the legislature to offer 
the encouragement of financial aid under strict conditions to 




semi-graded and rural schools. These conditions were that, for 
semi-graded schools, the district should be provided with suitable 
buildings, libraries and apparatus, and that a school of eight 
months should be maintained each year, organized in at least 
two departments with a suitable course of study, and taught by 
competent teachers, one of whom shall hold a state certificate of 
the first grade, or its equivalent. These schools receive state aid 
annually to the amount of $225 each. 

Rural schools that meet the above conditions, with the ex- 
ception that they are not required to maintain two departments, 
receive $125. These schools remain under the supervision of the 
county superintendents. 

This survey completes what is recognized as our public 
school system. It is complete in offering every child of the com- 
monwealth a free education, and progressive from the primary 
grade to the university. Every grade points upw^ard toward the 
university ; and to the university itself as the aid and support of 
all below. 


In its school system the state educates itself. The children 
in the schools will soon be the citizens of the state, assuming all 
its duties and responsibilities. But besides these, the state has 
another large class of its children, who, by reason of physical de- 
fects and the lack of proper moral environment in family and 
social hfe, are beyond the reach of the educating influences of the 
public schools, and may never assume the responsibilities of cit- 
izenship. These are the deaf, the blind, the homeless waifs, the 
imbecile, and the morally depraved. As the state, in benevolent 
spirit, builds hospitals for the care of the sick, who would other- 
wise die of neglect, in the same spirit the state undertakes to ed- 
ucate these defectives in special institutions, and by instruction 
especially adapted to their condition. This class of schools can 
be only outlined, but must not be overlooked in an estimate of 
the comprehensiveness of the plan of the state in the care of all 
its children. 

The children who are defective in sight, hearing, or intelli- 
gence, and who therefore cannot be taught in the common schools, 
are provided for by the state in three separate institutions located 



in the city of Faribault. In these they are provided with homes 
and are given an education adapted to their condition. 

The legislature of 1863 appointed a commission, consisting 
of George F. Batchelder, Rodney A. JMott, and David H. Frost, 
and authorized them to provide for the relief and instruction of 
the indigent blind and deaf of the state. In September following 
a school was opened in a hired building under R. H. Kinney, 
principal, with one matron, one teacher, and a class of five, soon 
increased to eight, deaf children, three of whom were feeble- 

In 1865, the limiting term "indigent" was removed from the 
statute ; and by the same legislature provision was made for a 
permanent board of five directors, adding the governor and state 
superintendent of public instruction as ex-officio members of the 
original number. 

The history of this institution is a record of the cordial inter- 
est which the citizens of Faribault have taken in the care and the 
beneficent purposes of these schools. Of the twenty-three dif- 
ferent citizens who have served on the board, three have served 
notably the longest of all in the state, — T. B. Clements, twenty- 
five years; Hudson Wilson, thirty-three years; and R. A. Mott, 
thirty-eight years. 

In 1879, the legislature appointed a commission of expert 
physicians to visit the state hospitals for the insane and select 
from them such idiotic and feeble-minded children as, in their 
opinion, were proper subjects for special care and instruction, 
and to assign tliem to this board for care and training. As a 
result, twenty-two were selected and placed in a school that ^ame 
fall with Dr. George H. Knight of Connecticut as principal. 

In i88t, the school was incorporated as a department of the 
institution for defectives, and epileptics were added to be cared 
for. Until that time the superintendency of all departments had 
been under Dr. J. L. Xoyes ; but then they were separated. Dr. 
Noyes retaining charge of the deaf, leaving Dr. J. J. Dow as 
superintendent of the blind, and Dr. Knight as superintendent of 
the feeble-minded. 

Until August, 1901, the three departments were administered 
under the original board, at which time that of the feeble-minded 
was transferred to the State Board of Control. The entire num- 



bcr received under the care of this department to the end of the 
scholastic year. June, 1902, is 1,582. 

1. The school for the blind is free to all blind children in 
the state between the ages of eight and twenty-six years. Board, 
care, and tuition, are furnished without charge. The school is 
equipped with all the appliances of a modern school of this class. 
Special instruction is given in music, and in manual training and 
industrial work, such as sloyd, broom-making, hammock-weav- 
ing, bead-work, basket-work, and sewing. The course of study 
embraces a period of seven years, beginning with the kindergart- 
en and ending with the usual English studies required for en- 
trance to the high school. 

2. The school for the deaf is free to all deaf children be- 
tween eight and twenty-five years of age whose parents or guar- 
dians are citizens of the State. The school course is seven years, 
which by the vote of the directors may be extended three years. 
About one-third of the time is devoted to industrial training in 
carpentry, and cabinet making; and for girls dressmaking, plain 
sewing and cooking-. Of the total enrollment (947) to June, 
1902, 551 were males and 396 were females. 

Upon completion of the course of this school examinations 
are given for entrance to Gallaudet College, to which twenty- 
seven have been admitted, giving Minnesota second place — Iowa 
being first — of the number sent to college as compared with the 
total deaf population of the state. Of the Minnesota students 
who have attended college, ten have become teachers ; one, a 
supervisor; one, a founder and superintendent of a school for 
the deaf ; one, a matron of a school ; one, an artist ; one, an archi- 
tect ; one, an editor ; three, government clerks ; and one, a banker. 

Of those who have graduated from the school twenty-six are, 
or have been, teachers ; and others are found in various callings, 
as book-keepers, clerks, artists, merchants, and similar occupa- 
tions. All this shows that out of the indigent and dependent, the 
state has educated self-supporting and useful citizens. 

3. For the feeble-minded a main building has been pro- 
vided at a cost of $290,000. It is divided into a north wing for 
girls, and a south wing for boys, leaving the middle part for ad- 
ministrative rooms, hospital, assembly hall, industrial rooms, and 
the culinary department. 


The children are grouped into ''families" for home life, 
each group being under the care of an attendant during the 
hours when not in school. This grouping is arranged both ac- 
cording to age and congeniality. In the school rooms the group- 
ings are arranged according to comparative mental ability. Dur- 
ing the year i90i-'o2 the enrollment was 474 males and 397 fe- 
males. Of this number 325 were in the school department. A 
large percentage promise to become self-supporting. 

4. The Minnesota State Training School for Boys and Girls 
was given its present name — changed from State Reform School 
— to avoid the appearance of separating these youth from society, 
and of identifying them with the criminal classes. 

The school, formerly at St. Paul, is now located at Red Wing 
on a tract of 450 acres of land. It is provided with an adminis- 
trative building and separate cottages for boys and girls. Its 
purpose is to counteract the results of idleness and evil compan- 
ionship by moral and intellectual instruction, and by training to 
habits of industry through useful and remunerative occupations. 
The school is organized on what is knowTi as the '^open family 
plan." It is divided into families of from fifty to seventy-five, 
according to ages, each family being in charge of a family man- 
ager, a teacher, and a housekeeper. The cost of maintaining the 
school, for the year ending July 31, 1902, was $126,439, of which 
a part was defrayed by the industrial work. The cost of build- 
ings has been $335,504. 


This school, known as the State Public School, was estab- 
lished in 1885. It provides a temporary home and school for the 
dependent and neglected children of the state. In the school all 
bodily wants are cared for, and instruction is given in morals and 
the common school branches. The average time of retention be- 
ing ten months, no systematic training in trades is undertaken; 
but all are well occupied in the various industries and services of 
this State home. 

Through an organized state agency children are provided 
with homes in families, which are regularly visited to learn 01 
the condition and care that is given the children. 



Up to January i, 1903, there had been received, from 76 of 
the 82 counties, 2,474 children — 1,519 boys and 955 girls. Of 
this number all but 257, then in the school, had been placed in 
family homes. Of those so placed 1,030 still remained under the 
supervision of the school. Information gained by visitation 
showed that 84 per cent, had developed into young men and 
women of good character. The cost of the entire property has 
been $226,910. 


Taking a summary and general view of what Minnesota has 
done and is dc^ng for the education of its children, we find that 
the aggregate expenditure and present valuation, in round num- 
bers, is as follows : 


1. By the State $ 3,500,000 

2. By Special and Independent Districts 12,000,000 

3. By Common School Districts 4,000,000 

Total $19,500,000 


1. By the General Government — Revenue from land 

grants, and money $ 590,000 

2. By the State 1,400,000 

3. By School Districts 3,000,000 

Total $ 4.990.000 

These amounts are necessarily approximate; yet they are 
sufficiently accurate to answer the purpose of a general estimate 
of the material expression of the worthiest impulses and princi- 
ples of our people in the care of those who are the future hope 
and honor of the State. 

Another view, higher than the merely financial one, is the 
successful application of the state's intelligence to the develop- 


ment of its system to comprehend every stage and aspect of its 
civic and industrial life. In the geography of our state, we see 
that every stream, rivulet, and spring, finds its way to the great 
ocean, and so makes itself a contributing part of the great sys- 
tem of waters ; likewise, so complete is our system of education 
that every vocation of life, every gradation and degree of cul- 
ture, — artisan and statesman ; the care of the plant, and the pro- 
tection of human life ; the child at his alphabet, and the mature 
student of the philosophy of life; the brilliant genius, and the 
unfortunate imbecile ; the child of the poorest, and the son of the 
richest, — all are comprehended in the provisions of our system 
of education, so far perfected that it stands at the forefront of 
all that human wisdom has devised for the improvement of the 
race and the perpetuation of human institutions. 

And now, in what we have accomplished, we have a guaran- 
tee for the future, that the problems still unsolved and the defects 
still unremedied will find their solution, and that completeness 
will ultimately crown our history with the honors of intelligence 
and philanthrophy. 




Tables and Statistics. 


Showing the Complete List of Educational Officers of the State and 
of State Institutions. 

I. Superintendents of Public Instruction. 

Edward D. Neill 

E. W. Merrill 

M. C. Baker 

W. S. Hall 

Edward D. Neill 

B. F. Crary 

James H. Baker (i) 

D. Blakeley (i) 

H. C. Rogers (i) 

Mark H. Dunnell 

Horace B. Wilson 

David Burt 

David L. Kiehle 

Wm. W. Pendergast 

John H. Lewis 

John W. Olsen 

(i) Ex-officio, as Seer 

Term Begun, 
March, 185 1 
August, 1853 
March, 1854 

1855 (?) 
April, i860 
May, 1861 
July, 1862 
November, 1862 
January, 1866 
April I, 1867 
August I, 1870 
April 3, 1875 
September i, 18S1 
September i. 1893 
January 21, 1899 
January 25, 1901 
:tar\- of State. 



1855 (?) 

May, 1861 
July, 1862 
November, 1862 
Januar\', 1866 
April, 1867 
August I, 1870 
April 3, 1875 
September i, 1881 
September i, 1893 
January 21, 1899 
January 25. 1901 

II. Presidents of the University of Minnesota. 

Edward D. Neill (i) March, 1858 May, 1861 

W, W, Washburn (2) September, 1867 June, 1869 

William W. Folwell September, 1869 May, 1884 (3) 

Cyrus Northrop September, 1884 

(l) Chancellor. (2) Principal. (3) Resigned May, 1883 

III. Presidents of 

John Ogden 
William F. Phelps 
(Tharles A. Morey 
Irwin Shepard 
J. F. Millspaugh 

George M, Gage 
Julia A. Sears (i) 
D, C. John 
Edward F, Searing 
Charles H. Cooper 
(1) Acting. 

THE St.\te Normal Schools 

I, Win6na. 
September, i860 
November, 1864. 
September, 1876 
September, 1879 
September, 1898 

2. Mankato. 
September, 1868 
September, 1872 
September, 1873 
September, 1880 
January, 1899 

September, 1861 
June, 1876 'i 
June, 1879 
June, 1898 * * 

June. 1872 
June, 1873 
June, 1880 
October, 1898 


Ira Moore 
David L. Kiehle 
Jerome Allen 
Thomas J. Gray- 
Joseph Carhart 
Geo. F. Kleeberger 
Waite A. Shoemaker 

3. St. Cloud. 

September, 1869 

September, 1875 

September, 1881 

September, 1884 

September, 1890 

September, 1895 

September, 1902 

June, 1875 

June, 1881 

June, 1884 

June, 1890 

June, 1895 

June, 1902 

4. Moorhead. 

L. C. 


August, 1888 




A. Weld 

September, 18 


5. Duluth. 

E. W. 


September, 1901 



Showing the Amounts and Incom 

e of the Permanent Schoo! 


and the School Enrollment for Every Fifth Year. 














$ 242,531 

$ 12,308 



















































Showing the Total Cost of Buildings and Permanent Improvements 
for Educational Institutions, including 1901-1902. 

State University, from 1867 $1,450,642 

State Normal Schools, from 1866 751,000 

Schools for Defectives, from 1866 883,250 

State Training School, from 1867 335,504 

State Public School, from 1886 219,774 

Total $3,640,170 





Showing Annual Disbursements for the Current Expenses of Edu- 
cational Institutions for Every Fifth Year.. 










$ 1,318 


$ . 



ii,So8 ('69) 






































Showing the Enrollments and Graduations of the Normal Schools 
at Winona, Mankato, St. Cloud, and Moorhead, from the beginning. 









































































































































































First enrollments: a. Winona; b. Mankato; c. St. Cloud; d. Moorhead. 






Showing Enrollment and Graduations in the several Departments of 
the University. 


. Lit. and 





Srhool of 




































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T C 





2"? J. 






























T ?0 
































































24b 174 































































156c 255 















































































23 id 434 

































First Graduations: a. Medicine; b. Homeopathic Medicine, Dentistry, 
Law ; c. Pharmacy ; d. Pharmaceutical Chemistry. 

e. Including 3d and 4th year prep, classes, f. 4th year prep, class dis- 
continued, g. 3d year prep, class discontinued, h. School of Agriculture 
opened, i. First graduation of ladies. 




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Report of the State Constitutional Convention. 
General Statutes of Minnesota. 
United States Land Laws : Public Domain. 
Reports of the State Auditor. 

Reports of the State Department of Public Instruction. 
Reports of the Regents of the University. 

Address of John S. Pillsbury. before the Alumni of the University, 
June I, 1893. 

History of Education in Minnesota, by John N. Greer. Circular of 
Information, No. 2, 1902, U. S. Bureau of Education. 
History of Minnesota, by Edward D. Neill, D.D. 


ROAD, 1864-1881 * 



The Minnesota Valley Railroad Company was organized in 
1864 under an act of the Minnesota Legislature approved March 
4th, 1864, which act granted to that company all the ''lands, in- 
terests, rights, powers and privileges" granted to the then Terri- 
tory .of Minnesota by and under the so-called Land Grant Act 
of Congress approved ]^Iarch 3rd, 1857, and which were con- 
ferred on the then so-called Southern Minnesota Railroad Com- 
pany by act of the Legislature approved May 22nd, 1857, pertain- 
ing to the proposed line of railroad from St. Paul via Mankato 
and other points named to the southern boundary of the state in 
the direction of the mouth of the Big Sioux river, where Sioux 
City now is. 

The said act of March 3rd, 1857, had granted to the state six 
sections of land per mile of the railroad as a bonus for its con- 
struction; and a subsequent act of Congress approved May 12th, 
1864, granted four additional sections per mile which were duly 
transferred to the ^linnesota Valley Railroad Company by act of 
Legislature approved March 2nd, 1865. 

The ^Minnesota Valley Railroad Company was organized 
with an authorized capital stock of $500,000, of which $473,000 
was at once subscribed and paid in. 

Its principal stockholders and first Board of Directors were: 
H. H. Sibiey, Russell Blakeley, R. H. Hawthorne, George Cul- 

•Read at the monthly meeting of the Executive Couucil, April 13 1903. 



ver, W. F. Davidson, E. F. Drake, H. M. Rice, J. L. Merriam, 
Horace Thompson, Franklin Steele, John S. Prince, J. E. Thomp- 
son, J. C. Burbank, T. A. Harrison, John Farrington, W. D. 
Washburn, and C. H. Bigelow. Of these seventeen directors, 
only the last three named now survive. 

The officers of the company were : E. F. Drake, president ; 
J. L. Merriam, vice-president; G. A. Hamilton, secretary: and 
Horace Thompson, treasurer. These gentlemen continued in 
their respective offices until the merging of the St Paul and 
Sioux City and its subsidiary lines, with the West Wisconsin, St, 
Paul, Stillwater and Taylor's Falls, and North Wisconsin lines, 
into the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway 
Company in 1880. 

In 1865 the road was located and constructed from Mendota 
to Shakopee, 22 miles; and in 1866 it was ej^tended eastward 
from Mendota to West St. Paul, 6 miles, terminating at South 
Wabasha street, near where a freight yard and depot were re- 
estabhshed last year (in 1902), and was extended westward 
from Shakopee to Belle Plaine, 19 miles, making then, in all, 
47 miles of completed road. 

About the first of April. 1867, the writer was appointed 
chief engineer, and under his supervision the location and con- 
struction of successive extensions were completed to Le Sueur 
in 1867, to Mankato in 186S, to Lake Crystal in 1869, and to 
St. James, 122 miles from St. Paul, in 1870. 

Meantime, in 1869, the Minnesota Valley Railroad Com- 
pany and the Minnesota Central Railroad Company (since ab- 
sorbed by the Giicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Com- 
pany) joined in tlie construction of the bridge over the Missis- 
sippi river, and of the line from Pickerel lake (two miles east 
of Mendota) to and over said bridge and to the site of the pres- 
ent Union Depot in St. Paul; our company building a freight 
house, 40 by 300 feet, on the river bank at the foot of Robert 
street, so arranged on the river side as to exchange freight with 
steamboats, there being then no direct railway connection at St. 
Paul for the east or south. 


On the 7th day of April, 1869, the name of the companv 
was changed from the Minnesota Valley Railroad Coinpany to 



the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company, tlie road in that 
year having run out of the valley at the south bend of the river, 
and having reached the open prairie at Lake Crystal on its way 
towards Sioux City. 

The new company had $2400,000 of capital stock, and fif- 
teen directors: :\Iessrs. H. H. Sibley, Horace Thompson, S. F. 
Hersey, George A. Hamilton, J. L. Merriam, W. F. Davidson, 
J. C. Burbank, J. S. Prince, E. F. Drake, A. H. Wilder, C. H. 
Bigelow, T. A. Harrison, Russell Blakeley, H. G. Harrison, 
and J. W. Pence; of whom Mr. Bigelow is now the only sur- 

Mr. John F. Lincoln had been appointed supermtendent 
of the line in 1867, and continued as such until 1880. 


The Minnesota river in those days was a factor not to 
be disregarded by the railroad : 

First, Because it was navigable and therefore a competitor 
for April, IMay, June, and July, as far up as Mankato, and 
a part of the time to Fort Ridgely and the Redwood and Yellow 
Medicine Indian agencies. 

During the spring and summer of 1867, the terminus of the 
road being at Belle Plaine, we arranged with the steamer *'Mol- 
lie Mohler" to make a round trip daily, leaving Belle Plaine 
on arrival of our morning train from St. Paul, to Mankato 
and, return, to connect with our afternoon train to St. Paul. 
Other and larger boats made frequent trips whenever tliey could 
find a paying load, and at that time the railroad wanted and 
needed all the business the country afforded. 

Second, The river was accustomed in the spring and sum- 
mer months to overflow its banks and cover the bottom lands 
one or two miles wide, and five to fifteen feet deep, compelling 
us for safe construction to keep our railroad line above high 
water level, and to follow generally the contour of the bluffs. 

At that time all that part of the state south and west of 
Mankato tributary to the Minnesota river was in grass, uncul- 
tivated and uninhabited except by the few settlers along and 
near the river banks. Some twelve or more counties were 



drained by the ?^Iaple, the Blue Earth, the Watonwan, the 
Cottonwood, the Redwood, the Yellow Medicine and the Lac 
qui Parle rivers, all, with several others from the north side, 
flowing into the Minnesota above Mankato. 

The water from the melting snows in the early spring, 
or from heavy rains in the later months, ran from the surface 
at once into tlie creeks and then into the rivers, and within 
a few hours was flooding the Minnesota valley, even covering 
at last the West St. Paul flats ten to twelve feet deep. 

With the settlement and cultivation of all that country, the 
situation and the habits of the river have wholly changed. It 
has been many years since a steamer has been able to navigate 
the river above Shakopee, and we shall never see the old-time 
floods again. 


In 1870 the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad was 
completed and opened from St. Paul to Duluth, and the con- 
struction of the Northern Pacific railway was commenced in 
earnest. In 1871 the Chicago and St. Paul Railroad, now the 
River Division of the Chicago, ^Milwaukee and St. Paul railway, 
was completed and opened to St. Paul; and the W^est Wiscon- 
sin railroad, now the Eastern Division of the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis and Omaha railway, was completed to Hudson. 

To meet this latter road, the St. Paul, Stillwater and Tay- 
lor's Falls Railroad Com.pany, composed mainly of the men 
interested in the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company, 
was organized and in 1871 constructed the road from St. Paul 
to Stilhvater and to Hudson, Wis. ; and in November and De- 
xem^ber of the same year, the same men, under the corporate 
name of the North Wisconsin Railroad Company, constructed 
the road from the junction near Hudson to New Richmond, in 
the direction of Duluth and Bayfield. 

Meantime, to return to earlier dates, the Congress, by act 
approved May 12th, 1864, had made to the State of Iowa a 
grant of ten sections to the mile of road in aid of the construc- 
tion of a railroad from Sioux City to the south line of ]Min- 
nesota at a point between the Big Sioux and the West Fork 




of the Des Moines river; and this grant was, by the Legislature 
of Iowa by act approved April 3rd, 1866, conferred on the 
Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad Company, which company 
had been organized in Iowa in 1865 by, and at the instance of, 
tlie incorporators of the Minnesota Valley Railroad Company. 
Messrs. H. H. Sibley, E. F. Drake and R. A. Smith represented 
the last named company in the Board of Directors named in 
the articles of incorporation of the Iowa company. 


In November, 1868, the then terminus of our road being 
at Mankato, it was suggested that the Chief Engineer and two 
of our Directors, as a committee, should personally inspect the 
country and our proposed line, so nearly as might be, from Man- 
kato to Sioux City, and attend to some local matters at the 
latter place. The country along the line of the land grants was 
then for 150 miles beyond ^ladelia a wholly uninhabited prairie 
with no road or trail or shelter for man or beast, and at that 
season a trip along or near the line would have been unsafe, 
if at all practicable. So, conferring with Messrs. J. L. Merriam 
and John S. Prince, who were to be my companions, we de- 
cided to follow the trail of the man who, with his pony cart, 
twice a month carried the mail from ]\Iadelia to Sioux City and 
return, by way of Jackson, Spirit Lake, Spencer, and Cherokee. 
This trail was about thirty miles east of our land grant line, but 
had a cabin or two at each of the places named, where we 
found shelter at night. With a comfortable spring wagon and 
good Indian Summer weather, we made of it a very pleasant 
and long to be remembered trip of five days, averaging about 
forty miles a day. We were very cordially received at Sioux 
City, and everything was soon arranged as we desired. 

Sending our team and driver back over the same trail, 
we decided to return by the only rail route then available, zna 
Council Bluffs and Chicago. Arriving at Council Bluffs, we ac- 
cepted an invitation to go out with some of the Union Pacific 
officers to the end of the track, then near Green River, Wyoming. 
W'e spent six days on this excursion, and returning via Chicago, 
Milwaukee, and Prairie du Chien, arrived at home the seven- 
teenth day of our trip. 


In the winter of 1 870-1 871, the St. Paul and Sioux City 
road having been completed to St. James, a contract was made 
with the Sioux City and. St. Paul Railroad Company, under 
which that company assumed the construction and operation 
of the road from St. James to Sioux City, and was thereby 
to acquire all the lands granted to the St. Paul and Sioux 
City Company and not then earned (in Minnesota), and of 
course, all the lands granted in aid of the road in Iowa. 

The new company was to complete the road from St. James 
to a junction with the Iowa Falls and Sioux City railroad (now 
the Illinois Central railroad) at Lemars, Iowa, 24 miles this side 
of Sioux City, in the year 1872. 

The Sioux City and St. Paul Railroad Company at this 
time had enlisted new men and new capital, and its officers were : 
E. F. Drake, president ; A. H. Wilder, vice president ; S. T. 
Davis (of Sioux City), secretary; and Horace Thompson, treas- 
urer. Its nine directors were ^lessrs. George L Seney, Adrian 
Iselin, and D. S. Miller, of New York; George H. Mackay 
and Alex. H. Rice, of Boston; S. T. Davis, of Sioux City; and 
E. F.- Drake, A. H. Wilder, and Horace Thompson, of St. 

The 'writer was appointed chief engineer and charged with 
the location and construction. Surveying parties commenced 
work from St. James westward in March, 1871, and in April 
the chief engineer, with team and driver, covered spring wagon, 
his old army ''mess kit" with six days' rations and forage, a 
large pocket compass, and the best maps then obtainable, started 
to find and mark by his wagon wheels, an approximate line 
across the uninhabited country from St. James to Sioux City. 

Certain points were known to be fixed by the Land Grant 
Survey of 1857, or by the topography, as, for instance, the 
crossing of Des ^iloines river, the head of Heron lake, the Oka- 
bena lakes, and the Floyd river valley in Iowa; and between 
these the courses were computed, and the wagon was steered 
by compass over the desolate prairie as a vessel would be 
guided across the ocean. Four lonesome cabins were found 
on or near the line, one at the Des Ivloines river, one at Heron 
lake, one at Okabena lakes, and one at the head of Floyd 
river. Of these, two were occupied by homesteaders and two 
by trappers. ^ ' 



As we approached Lemars on the newly constructed Iowa 
Falls and Sioux City railroad we found in the lower Floyd 
valley several families who had been there one or two years, 
and who were comfortably housed. 

We went through to Sioux City, where some matters re- 
quired attention, and returned over the same line the following 
week. I soon found that the trail of my wagon wheels had 
become quite a well travelled road. Settlers with teams were 
coming in from the east, and on striking the trail would turn 
into it and follow it until a quarter section was reached that 
suited, when a settlement would be promptly made upon it. 
In a few weeks the line was covered as far as the state boundary 
with graders and bridge builders ; and a splendid herd of elk, 
which I had seen between Heron lake and Worthington, had 
disappeared forever. The line of the present so-called "Omaha 
railway" is not at any point between St. James and Sioux City 
more than eighty rods distant from that wagon trail of April, 

During the season of 1871 the road was graded through to 
Lemars, and the track was completed to Worthington in the first 
week of November. 

Meantime townsites had been platted and stations opened, 
and hotels and stores, etc., established, at St. James, Moun- 
tain Lake, Bingham Lake, Windom, Heron Lake, Brewster, and 
Worthington; and the government lands subject to entry as 
homesteads had been mostly taken by actual settlers, who, in 
their new homes, were as yet but imperfectly sheltered and 
supplied with fuel and provisions. 

Then came the winter of 1871-1872, with severe cold weath- 
er and frequent and protracted storms of snow and wind. It 
immediately became apparent that the road could be operated 
through the winter only at a loss, if at all; but the condition 
of the newly established inhabitants of the prairie counties west 
of St. James seemed to make it imperative to keep the road 
open and trains running, and it was done so far as was possible, 
giving em.plovTnent in snow shovelling to all who were able 
and willing to work, and supplying wood from the Minnesota 
valley to all of the prairie stations. 

In 1872 the track was completed to Lemars on the 25th of 
September, and on the first of October the road was in regular 


Operation through to Sioux City, using the Iowa Falls and Sioux 
City track between Lemars and Sioux City, as is in fact now- 
done^ (1903). 

The counties in southwestern Minnesota and northwestern 
Iowa, near and tributary to the new road, were by this lime 
sparsely occupied by new comers, unaccustomed to the new life 
and situation; and, apprehending a repetition of the previous 
winter's experience, ever)' effort was made to prepare and pro- 
vide for it on the part of the Railroad Company, and to induce 
and stimulate such preparation on the part of the settlers, by ac- 
cumulating fuel and supplies during the fall months. 

On the 13th of November the winter commenced with a 
furious snowstorm with high wind, which lasted two or three 
days. The weather was extremely cold, and the snow particles 
were hard and fine like sand, and it was impossible for man or 
beast to make headway against it. It blinded the eyes, cut the 
skin like a shower of needles, confused the mind, and smothered 
the breath : and, if the man who was overtaken by it did not im- 
mediately find shelter, he was likely to perish miserably in a 
very short time. This was the ''blizzard" which, in its several 
murderous visits during that winter, cost the lives of nearly 
a hundred victims in different parts of this state. The winter 
all through was even more severe than the preceding one, and 
the road was again for several months operated, so far as was 
possible, at a heavy loss to the company. 

On the first of January, 1873, the writer was appointed gen- 
eral manager by both companies interested in the line between 
St. Paul and Sioux City, Capt. Thomas P. Gere (who had been 
assistant engineer) succeeding him as chief engineer of both com- 
panies ; and the authority of John F. Lincoln as superintendent 
was extended over both roads making the through line. 

During the spring and summer of 1873 thorough preparations 
for the coming winter were made by the sloping out and oblit- 
erating of the shallow cuts so that snow would not lodge in 
them, and by constructing double lines of snow fences and plant- 
ing trees to protect the deeper cuts, and generally bringing 
^he new track into better condition. These efforts proved suc- 
cessful, and there has been little trouble in operating the road 
in any winter since then, except in the unusually severe one of 



It has been said already that the country- between Man- 
kato and Sioux City, a stretch of nearly two hundred miles, 
was in 187 1 and 1872, when the road was under construction, 
a naked prairie, almost as destitute of trees as of human in- 
habitants. As during those and the following years the lands 
were being taken and occupied by actual settlers, the company 
by precept and by example tried to encourage the planting of 
trees; and, for ten years, young trees, cuttings, and tree seeds 
were transported to every station free of charge. The beneficent 
results of this policy are now apparent to one who sees the splen- 
did groves surrounding the comfortable farm houses and shading 
the parks and streets in the villages and cities, and who remembers 
the utterly blank landscape of thirty years ago. 


The new settlers had generally done in the previous sum- 
mer months more or less breaking up of the virgin sod, and 
everywhere along and in the vicinity of the roads were fields 
of corn, wheat, and other grain, giving promise of a plentiful 
harvest, the first crop of the pioneers generally in their new 
homes. One August day the sky was filled with a cloud of 
grasshoppers coming from unknown regions of the Northwest, 
full grown and hungry. They alighted in myriads on every 
field of grain, and in an hour the ground was bare. After com- 
pleting the devastation of the growing crops, tliey filled the 
ground with eggs and then departed, whither no one knew. 

It is hard now to appreciate the situation, and to realize 
the consternation that pervaded the inhabitants and those inter- 
ested in the Railroad Company, as every hope of a crop of any 
kind for that season disappeared, while the gravest apprehen- 
sions remained as to that of the coming year. Generally, how- 
ever, the ground was fall plowed in preparation for the next 
spring sowing, and with the vague hope that the eggs might 
be destroyed by the winter frosts. 

In early June of 1874 the fields that had been devastated 
by the grasshoppers in the previous summer had been generally 
cultivated and re-seeded and were promising a generous re- 
turn to the anxious owners. But now the eggs were hatching, 



and in a few days the little hoppers outnumbered the wheat 
plants five to one. A few more days and the fields were eaten 
bare again. Whole counties in southwestern Minnesota and 
northwestern Iowa were in this condition, and a panic ensued 
at once. I spent a day in personal inspection of the devastated 
fields and in interviewing the demoralized settlers, and, return- 
ing that night to St. Paul, reported the situation next m.orning 
to our Directors at a special meeting. The outlook w2ls very 
discouraging, but it would become a great deal worse if some- 
thing were not done at once to check the impending stampede of 
the disheartened settlers, and to restore and establish confidence. 

I suggested a plan, and it was adopted, and the next day I 
was at the front again, putting it into operation. 

I had proposed to join with five othiers in the purchase from 
the company, at its regular published prices, of all the railroad 
lands in two townships located in the heart of the grasshopper 
district, and to immediately commence breaking the sod. em- 
ploying the settlers to do the work in small tracts. Messrs. 
Horace Thompson, A. H. Wilder, and John L. ^lerriam, of St. 
Paul, and Adrian Iselin and George I. Seney. of Xew York, 
who were consulted and who approved by telegraph, formed, 
with myself, the party who were facetiously dubbed the "Grass- 
hopper S\Tidicate." 

The lands were selected near Sheldon, Iowa, and I tele- 
graphed to John L. Kenny, u-ho had been quartermaster in my 
regiment ten years before, and who knew how to manage men 
and teams, to meet me there next morning. 

While he proceeded to mark off a square mile of land into 
twenty acre tracts, I ''intercepted" the migrating settlers as they 
came in sight on their way to Dakota, or to anywhere bexond 
the grasshoppers, and before night I had captured twelve of 
them, each with a contract to break twenty acres at $2.50 per 
acre. The wagon bed >.vas lifted off, and the wnfc and children 
com.menced housekeeping in it, while the man unlimbcred his 
breaking plow and started in. The news spread over the country 
like a prairie fire in November, and within six weeks I had 
over 2.000 acres turned over. A good many of these men. after 
completing their contracts, returned to their abandoned home- 
steads and broke .twenty acres or more each for themselves. 




Then came the fall plowing, and the panic gradually quieted 
down. Meantime the hoppers had devoured the crops, had 
grown to maturity, filled the ground with eggs again, and de- 
parted. Now evidently there was m.ore trouble to come. With 
2,000 acres of newly broken land to be utilized, we built a farm 
hoiise with barn, sheds, granary, etc. Next spring it was all 
put into crops, including corn, oats, flax, barley, etc., and one 
square mile field in wheat. 

About the first of June the growing grain was something 
to be proud of as we looked it over, but a close inspection re- 
vealed the ground alive with 'hoppers again. I would not 
weary this audience with any more grasshopper war stories, but 
we have recently heard that they filled the ground with eggs last 
fall in certain northwestern counties of the state, and our expe- 
rience may be helpful to those interested there. 

I telegraphed to St. Paul for barrels of coal tar, and for 
plates of sheet iron about eight feet Ions: by four feet wide, and we 
undertook to save that square mile of wheat in this way. The 
sheet iron plates were bent up a little at the front edge, and 
at the rear edge a strip was turned up six or eight inches \vide. 
These plates were laid along the south line of the field at the 
southeast corner, with a space of eight or nine feet between 
them, end to end. A horse was placed in front of, and be- 
tween, each pair of plates, his whiffietree being attached by 
wires about nine feet long to the nearest corners of the two 
plates behind him, so that, when ready to advance, the "line 
of battle," as the boys called it, extended about as many rods 
as there were plates. Then the plates were brushed with coal 
tar, and the line advanced northward. The 'hoppers in front 
of the horse would jump to the right and left, and another and 
final jump would land them in the tar. At first a man was re- 
quired to manage each horse, but as they became used to the 
work, their heads were connected by lines, so that a man at 
each end and one to spare, could guide a line of eight or nine 
horses, and could clean about sixteen acres at every trip across 
the field. Each pan would accumulate a load of several bushels 
of 'hoppers in crossing the field, and at the end of the trip the 
pans were cleaned with shovels, rebrushed with tar, readjusted 
in line, and a return trip was made in like manner over the 
adjacent ground. 


Though all this did not work smoothly and perfectly at 
first, it did after a few hours' practice, and we thus covered 
the entire square mile in live days. 

The next week we went over the ground in like manner 
from east to west, and found that we had effectually cleaned 
up the little pests without appreciable injury to the growing 
grain; and then our other fields were treated in like manner. 
These operations were watched with great interest by neighbor- 
ing farmers, and many of them saved their crops by similar 

A week later a new danger threatened this particular field. 
A quarter section cornering on it had been sown also to wheat, 
and had been abandoned by the owner to the 'hoppers hatched 
therein. They had eaten it bare, and now, being half grown, 
had begun to migrate over to our field. They were not old 
enough to fly, and traveled in short leaps, and there were mil- 
lions of them, all hungry. 

Fortunately they were discovered when the movement com- 
menced, and it was met by commencing a ditch at the corner 
and extending it as rapidly as possible to the north and east. 
We found that a ditch two feet wide, and one and a half feet 
deep, was sufficient to stop them ; very few were able to cross it 
— the grand army went into it, and were utterly unable to rise 
out of it. In a couple of days they had nearly filled it, and the 
raid was over. 

A good many fields v/ere abandoned to the pests that sum- 
mer, to be totally destroyed, but some were saved, to yield a fair 
harvest. Our square mile of wheat gave us 11,298 busliels, 
which was sold at 80 cents; the total expense of fighting the 
'hoppers was between 30 and 40 cents per acre. 

This year (1S75) grasshoppers at maturity generally 
left the country without depositing eggs, and there has been 
no serious trouble with them since. Those appearing in later 
vears were less in numbers, easily handled, and created no panic. 

The "Grasshopper Syndicate," however, continued its op- 
erations, breaking up new land every year, and selling out both 
new and cultivated lands, as buyers appeared, carrying on 
meantime its farming operations on a large scale, until in 1882 



it was closed out, returning to each man all the capital he had 
invested, with interest and a handsome dividend of profits. It 
had deserved and achieved success. 

Its example was followed by other large non-resident land 
owners, several of whom placed their lands under the writer's 
management for similar treatment. So, besides the 13,000 acres 
owned by the Syndicate, of which about one-half was put under 
cultivation, two farm headquarters, wath buildings, etc., being 
successively established, he had to look after other similar en- 
terprises, establishing three other famis and cultivating about 
I 4,000 acres. All of these were successfully carried through 
I until disposed of to the satisfaction and profit of the owners, and 
1 incidentally to the benefit of the road at a critical time in its 
• I history. Of course, as a railroad manager he could give but 
casual personal attention to these farms ; but, with capable and 
honest foremen in charge, and with a system of reports and 
i accounts, he was able to keep them under such supervision as 
was necessary without neglecting the regular railroad w^ork. 


There were financial troubles in 1873, 1^74 ^^75' 
there was a disposition to unfriendly legislation in Minnesota, 
Iowa and Wisconsin during those years, apparently growing out 
of the so-called granger movement among the farmers ; and 
for these reasons not a mile of railroad was built in Minnesota 
during the three years last named. 

In 1876 the Worthington and Sioux Falls Railroad Com- 
' pany was organized by the St. Paul and Sioux City people, and 
the road was built from Sioux Falls Junction to Luverne in that 
year. It was extended to Beaver Creek in 1S77 and to Sioux Falls 
in 1878, being the first railroad to reach that city. 

In 1879 the branch road was built from Luverne to Doon, 
Iowa, 28 miles; the Pipestone branch was built from Heron 
Lake' to Woodstock, 44 miles (later extended to Pipestone, ii 
, miles) ; and the Blue Earth City branch, from Lake Crystal to 
Blue Earth Citv, 34 miles, which was continued in 1880 to El- 
more at the Iowa state line, ic miles. With these, the St. Paul, 



Stillwater and Taylor's Falls railroad, 28 miles, the Hudson 
and River Falls railroad, 12 miles, and the Omaha and Northern 
Nebraska railroad, 63 miles, were all merged into the St. Paul 
and Sioux City system, making now nearly 700 miles of con- 
nected railroad, including the extensions, completed in 1880, 01 
the Sioux Falls road to Salem, South Dakota, 39 miles, of th<^. 
Omaha and Northern Nebraska road from Oakland to Sicux 
City, 66 miles, and the Sioux City and Ponca road, 29 miles, 
a narrow gauge road which was purchased in 1879 and rebuilt 
in 1880. 

In 1879 ^^^^ St. Paul and Sioux City road had outgrown 
its shop acconmiodations at Shakopee, and, accepting an offer 
from the city of St. Paul of an eligible tract of forty acres 
within the city, near the north end of the Mississippi river rail- 
road bridge, the construction of the various buildings was com- 
menced; and in 1880 they were fully completed and equipped 
with the necessary machinery and tools, and a special branch 
track was constructed to connect them with the main line. 

The conditions arising from the various and different arrange- 
ments that had been made from time to time for the construction 
of the two main divisions between St. Paul and Sioux City, and 
of the various branches and subsidiary lines, appeared to re- 
quire a general consolidation of all the lines, and general read- 
justment, consolidation and reissue of the stock and bonds. 
This was effected as above stated, in 1879, in the corporate name 
of the St. Paul and Sioux City Railroad Company, with the 
same officers and directors who had theretofore constructed and 
managed the properties. 

^ This accomplished, the situation was greatly simplified, and 
general conditions moreover had much improved. The grass- 
hoppers and the blizzards had passed into ancient history. Tlie 
government lands had all been taken up by actual settlers, and 
our railroad lands were selling freely for settlement and cul- 
tivation ; prosperous villages arid cities were growing up rap- 
idly, and the settlers were no longer destitute or dependent, but 
were in condition to give business and earnings to the road. 
Meantime, however, other roads were invading our territory 
from the east, and were compelling readjustment of rates ana 
division of the business. 





It now became apparent that a closer and a permanent 
connection via St. Paul with Milwaukee and Chicago, and \vith 
Lake Superior, must be had; and the suggestion was made and 
considered of the purchase of, or merging with, the properties 
then known as the West Wisconsin and North Wisconsin rail- 

Messrs. Drake, Thompson and Merriam went to New York 
I in January, 1880, to see what might be done to this end; but 
: the sudden death of Mr. Thompson in that city on the 27th 
of that month interrupted and at last wholly changed our plans. 
What was finally done was to sell a majority of the St, Paul 
and Sioux City stock to a syndicate headed by Mr. H. H. Porter, 
of Chicago ,and composed of the principal owners of the Wis- 
consin properties. This was followed in the succeeding spring 
of 1880 by a general reorganization of all the properties under 
the name of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Rail- 
way Company, under which name the lines are now owned and 

In the reorganization, several of the old St. Paul and Sioux 
City directors retired, and were replaced by new men, Mr. 
Porter becoming president of the new company. The writer 
remained with the new organization as general manager; and 
Mr. E. W. W'inter was appointed general superintendent, and 
Mr. Francis B. Clarke, general traffic manager, their authority 
being extended over all lines embraced therein. During the 
I summer of 1880 the site was purchased, and the general office 
building (now occupied) at Fourth and Rosabel streets, St. Paul, 
was erected. The Prince street freight yard and depot and 
the Spring street yard in this city were established; terminals 
in Minneapolis and Omaha were acquired and equipped : and 
the several extensions of various limes heretofore named, and 
others in Nebraska, were completed. 

In connection with other roads, the St. Paul Union Depot 
Company was organized, and the original building was erected 
and the yards were established. These in the past twenty years 
have been twice enlarged and rearranged in the effort to accom- 


modate and keep pace with the ever increasing business done 
there. A contract was made with the (now) Great Northern 
Railway Company, for the use of its tracks between St. Paul 
and MinneapoHs, and for the use of the Union Depot in the 
last named city ; and, after a general conference, an agreement 
was made between the city authorities of St. Paul and the several 
railroad companies, as to the building and subsequent mainte- 
nance of bridges where the railroad tracks and the city streets 
intersect. Under this agreement nearly all such intersections 
have been bridged as required from time to time. 

With fresh capital available, and pursuing Mr. Porter's 
policy of making his road equal to the best, substantial improve- 
ments were made on the various lines to bring them up to his 
high standard, and new equipment to meet the increasing busi- 
ness was provided. 

In April, 1881, the writer having taken a contract to con- 
struct a division of 140 miles of railway from Des Moines river 
to Council Bluffs in Iowa for the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. 
Paul Railway Company, resigned his position as general man- 
ager, and, with much regret on his part, severed his relations 
with the enterprise to which for six years as chief engineer and 
eight years as general manager, he had given his best services. 


Now, twenty-two years later, I look back over that period 
of fourteen years with sincere satisfaction and pleasure. My 
relations with all the officers, directors, and employees of all the 
lines under my charge, were uniformly harmonious and cordial. 
No railroad or other corporation ever had a more loyal and 
efficient corps of employees; and the unique record v/as made 
for those fourteen years that "no passenger was ever killed 
or injured on this road." 

Great advances and improvements have been made in the 
past twenty-two years in the material and construction of rail- 
ways, and in the business of railroading. The Sioux City and 
St. Paul track was laid in part thirty-one years ago with iron 
rails at $93 per ton, paid for with eight per cent, bonds at 80 
cents on the dollar. The road was constructed through a prairie 



grass country, uninhabited and inaccessible until after the build- 
ing of the road had redeemed it for the uses of civilized men. 

The enterprise and courage and steadfast persistence of the 
men who in the beginning invested their private fortunes in it, 
and who through successive years of most discouraging expe- 
rience maintained faith and hope until time should justify them, 
should be ever gratefully remembered by the citizens of Min- 
nesota, and especially by those residing in the now most pros- 
perous counties so splendidly served by the road under its pres- 
ent management. 

If this imperfect sketch, written at the request of the Min- 
nesota Historical Society, shall in any degree revive the mem- 
ory of those men, most of whom have passed from earth, it will 
add to the pleasure and pride with which I have prepared and 
now submit it. 


'Vol. X. 1'LA.TE XII. 

4/ "7, 



St. Paul is located on land on the east side of the Mississippi 
river, ceded to the United States by the Ojibway Indians on Jan- 
uary 29, 1837, and September 9, 1837, and on land west of the 
river, ceded by the Sioux, July 23 and August 5, 185 1. 

The first settler was Pierre Parrant, of malodorous fame, 
who has never been suspected of having- posed before an artist 
as a model for an Adonis. Parrant, having been driven off 
his first claim, near Fountain cave, close to where the Omaha 
shops now are, made another claim between Jackson and Min- 
nesota streets, from the river to Twelfth street. 

It seemed as though Parrant, who had been a wanderer 
and an outcast, would permanently occupy this pretty claim 
overlooking the river; but when Benjamin Gervais offered him 
the munificent sum of $10 for it, it was not in human nature 
to resist, and Parrant sold. So he escaped the curse of becom- 
ing a millionaire, and of having a contest over his will ; and 
by this transaction the real estate market was opened in St. 

Closely after Parrant, in 1838 and 1839, came Abraham Fer- 
ret (Anglicized to Perry), Pierre and Benjamin Gervais, Evans, 
Hays, Phelan. and Mtal Guerin; in 1840, Joseph Rondo. Xavier 
De Mair, and Father Lucian Galtier. of blessed memory; and, in 
1841, Father Ravoux and Pierre Bottineau. Many of these 

•Read at the monthly meeting of the Executive Council, May 11. 1903. 





became dealers in real estate, and so connected themselves with 
my theme. 


These new settlers were wiser and more sagacious men than 
Parrant. They foresaw that the time would come, some day, 
when there would be a church and schoolhouse here, a tavern, 
and a blacksmith shop, frame instead of log houses, and perhaps, 
— who knows? — some day a population of several hundred peo- 

So De Mair, instead of selling his claim out on University 
avenue, near where the old car barn stood, for a paltry ten 
dollars, got a horse and wagon for it, and made another claim 
where Calvary cemetery is, and got for that a pair of horses. 

Donald McDonald, who had made a claim where Desnoyer 
Park is, sold it to Stephen Desnoyer for a barrel of whiskey 
and two guns; and in 1843 Lt^ither Furnell sold the 160 acres 
known to you all as "the Larpenteur farm," and later as "Kitt- 
sondale," to Lot Moffet for $100. 

In the same year, 1843, John R. Irvine bought 300 acres, 
now Rice and Irvine's addition, for $300, — a property destined 
in his lifetime to become worth millions of dollars. 

The only influence the most of these early squatters ever had 
on St Paul's destiny was that, being Catholics, they caused a 
Catholic miission to be established here, which made a nucleus 
around which others gathered, and which caused our name to be 
changed from ''Pig's Eye" to St. Paul. 

But now a more enterprising and intelligent class com- 
mences to come in, men who are destined to make their mark 
in the upbuilding of the city. Henry Jackson and Sergeant Rich- 
ard W. ^Mortimer came in 1842; John R. Irvine, James W. Simp- 
son, William Hartshorn, A. L. Larpenteur, Alex. R. McLeod, 
came in 1843, whom only Larpenteur still lives. Long may 
he live! 

Louis Robert and Charles Bazille came in 1844; Charles 
Cavalier and Jesse Pomroy in 1845; William H. Randall, Thom- 
as S. Odell, and David Faribault, in 1846; and Major William H- 
Forbes, John Banfil, J. W. Bass, Benjamin W. Brunson, Ira B. 



Brunson, Dr. John J. Dewey, and Simeon P. Folsom, in 1847. 
These men, all well known, who figure largely in the history of 
St. Paul, became more or less dealers in real estate. Many 
others came, whom my limited space compels me to omit. 

The first deed on record in Ramsey county was from Henry 
Jackson to William Hartshorn, of date April 23, 1844, convey- 
ing for $1,000 one-half ''of all the following tract or parcel 
of land lying and being in the County of St. Croix, Territory of 
Wisconsin, it being the place where the said Jackson now lives, 
and lying immediately on the Mississippi river, and known as 
St. Paul's Landing." This included certain buildings thereon. 
It contained three acres. 

The city was not platted, so it could not be described by 
lots and blocks ; and the land had not yet been surveyed by the 
government, so it could not be described as a subdivision of a 
section, township, and range. Jackson, the grantor, had no title, 
only a "squatter's claim." But woe to the man who on the 
frontiers attempts to "jump a claim," or at government sale 
to bid against the "squatter!" 

After this sale of Jackson to Hartshorn, the real estate 
market was rather quiet, no further sale being recorded until 
June 16, 1846, nearly two years later, when Pierre Bottineau sold 
to Francis Chenevert and David Benoit 100 acres, "bounded as 
follows: On the east" by Kittson, on the north by James R. Clew- 
ett, on the west by Hartshorn and Jackson, and on the south by 
Louis Robert." There was no further description ; not even the 
county or territory was mentioned. The consideration of the 
deed was $300, or $3 per acre. It is now Whitney and Smith's 
addition, embracing the very heart of the wholesale district, and 
Seventh and Eighth streets, from Jackson to Broadway. It 
is worth today at least $3,000,000; just ten thousand times its 
cost. And here sits Larpenteur, who has witnessed all these 
wondrous changes. What an old, old man he must be! 

Preceding this on the records is a mortgage to "H. H. Sib- 
ley, of M'endota, Clayton county, Iowa territory." 

In several of the deeds made in 1847 and 1848, the prop- 
erties sold are described as being certain lots in certain blocks 
"in the City of St. Paul;" and sometimes it is added, ''as sur- 
veyed and platted by Ira B. Brunson," although no plat of St. 


Paul was on record, and the only plat of the ''City of St. Paul" 
now of record is one surveyed and platted by Benjamin W. Brun- 
son in 1849. 

As a matter of fact, the proprietors of the land (about ninety 
acres) embraced in the plat of "St. Paul Proper," as we now 
call it, sent to Prairie du Chien in 1847, for Ira B. Brunson to 
come up and survey and plat it, which he did ; and with that 
survey the plat on record by Benjamin W. Brunson, in 1849, 
corresponds as to lots, blocks, etc. As the boys say, they were 
"too previous" in 1847, government survey having been 
made, and they having no title, save a "squatter's claim." 


Let me now recite a few more sales of these early days, that 
I may refer to them at different periods to show the advances in 

On September 13, 1847, Alex. R. McLeod sold to William 
C. Renfro sixty feet on Third street, through to Bench, just 
east of the Mannheimer block, on the corner of Third and Min- 
nesota streets. The price of the sixty feet was $200. In 1857 it 
was worth $6,000! In 1887 is was worth S6o,ooo. I put no 
value for the present time, lest I do an owner injustice. We 
all know that values on Third street have receded since 1887 ; 
and that on Sixth and Robert and other streets they have ad- 

On October 29, 1847, M'cLeod sold to William Hartshorn lot 
I, block 33, on the southwest corner of Third and Minnesota 
streets, for $200. Ten years later it was worth twenty-five time- 
its cost, and forty years later two hundred and fiftv times its 

When smiling at the recollection that the men of tho^^e 
days paid three per cent, per month for money, remember that 
these advances in values from 1847 1^57 v^'Q^^ at the rate of 
100, 200, 300, 400, or 500 per cent, per year, or sometimes much 
more. One would oe a stoic, indeed, not to imbibe the spirit of 
speculation and to borrow, at even the high rate named, with tlic 
hope of such profit. 

On April 10, 1848, Louis Robert sold to Plenry C. Rho<los 
(note the description) "a tract beginning at the corner of Robert 



St. 75 feet, and then parallel with 3d street until it strikes the 
line between lots 9 and 10 on Block No. 26." This is all the de- 
scription. It doesn't say in what town or addition, what street 
corners with Robert, nor which corner, nor in what direction 
the line ran which was to be parallel with Third street, x^nd this 
is only a sample of many such deeds. 

On May 27, 1847 (recorded in 1848), David Faribault sold 
to A. L. Larpenteur for $62.50. "a piece [I quote literally] 22 
yards fronting on the back of Jackson's fence, and adjoining 
La Roche on the north and D. Faribault on the south, running 
back to the middle of the ravine from Hartshorn's claim, being 
22 yards front and 21 yards back, containing one acre more or 
less." Although so loose in description, they were very careful 
to retain all the ancient legal verbiage, and Larpenteur got "all 
the appurtenances, reversions, remainders, rents, issues, and 
profits thereof." 

This is the property fronting about 66 feet on Third street, 
300 on Jackson, and 63 feet on Founh street, on part of which the 
Hale Block is located. ^Nlr. Hale bought it October 21, 1865, for 
$30,000, an advance in price of $29,937.50 in eighteen years, — 
not counting the value of some old buildings on it, which he 
afterward removed. In 1887 same ground without buildings 
was worth $100,000. x\s a matter of fact, Larpenteur sold 
to Faribault a horse for $80, and got this property and $17.50 
cash, making the cost of the ground $62.50. But how old was 
that horse? What was he worth? It isn't certain that Lar- 
penteur really gave more than $20 or $30 for the ground. 

In 1848 the market became more active, thirty-five sales 
having been made. 

On January 21, 1848, McLeod sold to S. J. Findley, of St. 
Peter's (^lendota), Iowa Territory, the lot where the News 
office now is. and two lots on ^linnesota street, south of the 
Germania Life Building, for $50. It was a good place to put 
$50, and hold the property. 

On April 14, 1848. McLeod sold to Jackson the northeast 
corner lot of Third and Minnesota streets for $47.50. It fronted 
80 feet on Third and 50 feet on Minnesota. Ten years later 
it was worth $5,000 or $6,000. at the least, or more than one 
hundred times its cost to Jackson ; and in 1887 it was worth 
$40,000 to $50,000. , 


Here is an example of changes in values. On the 15th of 
June, 1848, only one year before Governor Ramsey and William 
P. Murray came here, Louis Robert sold to B. W. Brunson 
three lots on the northwest corner of Robert and Fifth streets, 
where the Milwaukee railway ticket office now is, for $30, or $10 
per lot, worth today $125,000 to $150,000, or five thousand times 
what Brunson paid. Property on Third street was then worth 
five times as much as on Robert street, but now only one-fifth 
as much. 

You will bear in mind that the land here was surveyed by 
the government in 1848 (the same year in which these lots were 
sold), and that it had been bought at $1.25 per acre; so that six 
lots (an acre) at $10 per lot, or $60 per acre, was a good profit 
in a few months on the $1.25 investment. 

Here is a land sale with a lesson. October 21, 1848, Rich- 
ard Freeborn sold to Henry Jackson forty-eight acres, now a 
part of Stinson, Brown and Ramsey's addition, near the Omaha 
shops, for $100, or about two dollars per acre. At a very con- 
servative estimate this land (now city lots) is at present worth 
$2,000 per acre, or about one thousand times its cost; yet it has 
been sold and mortgaged so often that the abstracts often con- 
tain over a hundred numbers, and these abstracts, and the at- 
torney's fees for examining titles in case of each sale or mort- 
gage, have cost more than the property is now worth! What 
an argument for the Torrens system of transfer of real estate! 

November 14, 1848, after the survey, John R. Irvine sold 
to Henry M. Rice eighty acres just west of St. Peter street, 
now a part of Rice and Irvine's addition, for $3 per acre. It 
was platted the next year, and was sold at the rate of $300 to 
$500 per acre. Both Irvine and Rice lived to see it worth 
millions of dollars. 

December 22, 1848, Louis Robert sold to David Olmsted 
and H. C. Rhodes 100 by 100 feet on the southeast corner of 
Fourth and Robert streets for $200, — or $100 per lot of 50 by 
100 feet. This was 100 per cent at least over the price in the 
previous year. Without buildings it would now be cheap at 
$100,000, — and around me are men who saw it sell for $200! 

January 10, 1S49, Louis Robert sold to Stephen Dcsnoyer 
lots 6, 7, and 8, block 25, St. Paul Proper, for $100. These lots 
are now covered by the ten-story Germania Life Building. 




Here is a land sale worth noting. On January 8, 1849, 
James McBoai sold to John R. Irvine the undivided third of the 
northeast quarter of section i, township 28, range 23, for $500. 
This is about $10 per acre. It is now a part of Dayton and 
Irvine's addition, embracing the very heart of the best part of 
our residence district, and one single front foot of it on Summit 
avenue has sold for $500, — just what Irvine paid for a third of 
the whole tract. 

I want now to call your attention to a few sales in 1850, 
'51, and '52, to show advances in value, and how these advances 
accord with increase in population. 

October 9, 1850, Louis Robert sold to Charles Cavalier the 
west half of lot 13, block 25, of the "City of St. Paul/' for $350 
(at the rate of S700 per lot). It had been sold in 1848 for $53, 
so that the advance was 1,300 per cent in two years. 

April 19, 185 1, Vital Guerin sold to William G. Le Due, 
whom I see present here tonight, lot i, block 34, of the City of 
St. Paul, fronting on Third, Wabasha, and Bench streets, now 
covered by the IngersoU Block, for $900. This was a good 
advance on S50, the price at which it sold two years before. 
Still it was an excellent purchase, as Le Due sold it in three or 
four years for $7,500. 

No government surveys of lands in Ramsey county had been 
made prior to 1848, and all previous sales of lands or lots were 
simply of "squatter's claims." The situation was becoming awk- 


The government having made surveys in 1848, those having 
"claims" in the ninet)^ acres covered by the unrecorded plat 
of the "City of St. Paul," made by Ira B. Brunson in 1847, 
appointed H. H, Sibley, A. L. Larpenteur, and Louis Robert, 
as commissioners to bid off the land at the first government 
land sale in what is now Minnesota, made August 14, 1848, 
at St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin. H. H. Sibley, for the 
commissioners, surrounded by twenty or thirty lusty fellows 
with bludgeons, as warning to all that it would be dangerous tor 
any one to bid against him, bought what is now "St. Paul 
Proper," as we call it, for the minimum government price of 


$1.25 per acre; and he, with the other commissioners, Larpen- 
teur and Robert, made the apportionment in lots and blocks to 
the "claimants," according to their respective interests. 

Though the climate here is regarded as very healthy, as 
certified by Dr. Ohage, and attested by the tables of mortality, it 
was, in pioneer days, found to be insalubrious by those who at 
land sales bid against the "squatters." 

And novv- we find in the office of the register of deeds for 
Ramsey county, as the first- entry on the records of town plats, 
that the City of St. Paul, in the County of St. Croix, State of 
Wisconsin, was platted February 28, 1849, by Louis Robert, 
Henry Jackson, Charles Cavalier, Henry H. Sibley, Vital Guerin, 
J. W. Bass, August L. LarpeuLeur, William Henry Forbes, J. W. 
Simpson, A. C. Rhodes. L. H. La Roche, and John B. Coty. 

In the copy of the plat, the heading is "City of St. Paul, 
the Capital of ^Minnesota;" but that was not the name, and 
St. Poul was not the capital of Minnesota, and was not then 
in Minnesota, but in Wisconsin, as Minnesota did not then exist. 
In the original plat is this indorsement : 

Office of the Register of Deeds for Ramsey County, Minnesota.— ss. 

I hereby certify that the within map of St. Paul was filed in this of- 
fice for record (in accordance with an act of the legislature of the State 
of Minnesota, approved Feb. 14, 1866) on the 17th day of March, A. D. 
1866, at 3 o'clock p. m., and was duly recorded in Book G of Town Plats, 
page 13. Jacob M.\inzer, Register of Deeds. 

To this act of the legislature I will refer later in this paper. 
There is also an indorsement on the plat : 

This is the original plat of Lower St. Paul, Minn. Territory. 
August, 1849. C. K. Smith, Secretary of the Territory. 

This certificate was worthless and misleading, in that it 
did not give the true name of the plat. I have gone into detail 
as to this plat, because it was of "St. Paul Proper," as we now 
call it, the first plat in the city, now the heart of the business 

Neither the acknowledgement of the plat by the propri- 
etors, nor the certificate of the surveyor, mentions the county 
or territory, the section, township, or range, in which the city 
is located. ' And this is true of Whitney and Smith's, Rice and Ir- 




vine's. Leech's, Bazille and Guerin's, Hoyt's, Paterson's, Joel 
Whitney's, and W'illes' additions ; and in several instances the 
proprietors do not even sign the plats, and so do not dedicate 
the streets, alleys, and parks. Yet for years the attorneys ex- 
amined and passed and purchasers took titles in them. 

Of course, we understand that the sale of a lot accord- 
ing to a plat by the proprietor is a recognition of the plat; and 
that the law presumes a dedication for public use of all streets, 
alleys, parks, etc., marked on the plat: also that, in the lan- 
guage of tlie law, "id certum est quod certum reddi potest," — 
''that is certain which can be made certain." So if you can 
definitely and positively locate a point on the plat, and have 
directions and distances given, you can ascertain the boundaries 
of the plat and locate and define the lots ; but most of us can have 
enough lawsuits without buying them. 

So after the lapse of sixteen or seventeen years the leg- 
islature passed the curative act referred to, on the nth of Feb- 
ruary, 1866, which reads as follows: 

Chapter go, Special Lan's of 1866. 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota : 

Section i. The plat now in the register's office of the county of 
Ramsey, headed ''City of St. Paul,'' and upon which is written, "This is 
the original plat of lower Saint Paul, ^linnesota Territory, Aug., 1849. 
C. K. Smith, Secretary of Territory," together with the certificate of ac- 
knowledgment thereto annexed, purporting to be signed by "David Lam- 
bert" and "Benj. W. Brunson," justices of the peace, and by H. Jackson 
and others, is hereby directed to be filed by the register of said county in 
his office, and, when so filed, is to be a public record, and the said register 
is also directed to record said plat and certificate, and such record is to 
have the same effect as other public records, and certified copies thereof 
shall be admissible in evidence in all courts of this State, as well as said 
original plat and the record thereof. 

Sec. 2. All plats on file in said register's office, purporting to dedicate 
lands to public use for streets, highways or other public purposes, shall be 
admissable in evidence without further proof, and shall be prima facie evi- 
deiKe of such dedication, and no action shall \yc entertained to question 
such purported dedication, unless comhcnccd within two years after the 
passage of this act: Proiidcd. That this act shall not apply to any actions 
now pending against said city. 

And thus, after seventeen years, this bungling work in plat- 
ting was remedied by legislative enactment. 




It is very interesting to note that here, on the very borders 
of civilization, is a little group of men platting lands for a city 
(which lands were but yesterday surveyed and entered, and the 
day before belonged to the Indians) on a scale that argued a 
most remarkable sagacity; and that three of this Httle group 
should become governors of the future state f Sibley, Ramsey, 
and Marshall) ; that another of them should afterward represent 
us in Congress (Edmund Rice) ; that two of them should be- 
come United States senators (Ramsey and H. M. Rice) ; one 
of them a member of the president's cabinet and another the 
U. S. commissioner of agriculture (Ramsey and Le Due) ; and 
yet another, then recording these deeds, a United States senator 
(M. S. Wilkinson). 

We are now entering upon an eventful year, 1849, when 
wide areas are platted as St. Paul, and its various additions; and 
the people are full of expectance. Goodhue in the Minnesota 
Pioneer, just established, is urging the immediate construction 
of a railroad from St. Louis via St. Paul, to the Red river, 
and another from the Gulf of Mexico via St. Paul to Hudson 

In most curious juxtaposition with this article, is another 
editorial felicitating the 800 citizens of St. Paul on the fact that 
a pump has now been put in a well in the lower "town, so that 
our citizens hereafter will not be dependent upon river water- 
As their little ''shoe-box postoffice*' is to our present magnificent 
postoffice, so is this pump to our present magnificent water 

On October 25, 1849, H. M. Rice sold to Lyman Dayton 
a one-third interest in the northeast quarter of section i, township 
28, range 23, now Dayton and Irvine's addition, for $4,000. 
Rice bought it one year before for $500, so that he made 700 
per cent profit; and yet what a splendid purchase for Dayton! 
A single front foot of Summit avenue, south of Selby, part of 
this land, is now worth, as stated before, nearly as much as Rice 
paid for the whole tract. 

Mr. Rice's name suggests a little story told me by Mr. 
William H. Tinker, a worthy old settler, to whom I am indebted 
for an excellent letter on early days. Rice was a man of gen- 
erous nature, and, pleased with the services rendered by his 





attorney, W. D. Phillips, made him a present of a valuable lot. 
When Phillips rendered his acount at the end of the year, Rice 
was surprised to find Phillips had charged him $5 for drawing 
the deed to the identical lot he had given him. 

May 12, 1849, Vital Guerin sold to Frederick Ely, lot 12, 
block 23, of St. Paul proper, for $150. This is on Third street, 
between Wabasha and Cedar streets. You will remember that 
one year previous lots there were selling at $10 to $50, — a 
I good advance. 

' In June, 1849, I^^^e was selling lots in Rice and Irvine's 

addition, just platted, at $75 to $125 per lot. which is at the 
rate of $300 to S500 per acre, for what cost him the previous 
year $3 per acre ! In fact, he sold a lot to Charles F. Rittenhouse 
in August, 1849, ^'or $350* which a year before had cost him 
$3 per acre, or 75 cents per lot. That is 466 times its cost ! 

I am putting exclamation points at the ends of these sen- 
i tences, but how can I help it? Every statement of real estate 
! ■ history from 1849 ^^57 deserves an exclamation point. Much 
of the property sold in 1849 P'^^*^ ^ profit of 100 per cent per 
month over prices in 1848. 


Time and again I have been struck with the fact that a large 
per cent of our pioneers, the men who figured in our history from 
1849 to 1853, ^vere men of markedly superior abilities. Let me 
relieve you for a minute from a recital of sales by enumerating 
some of them, and then tell me, if you can, where else you ever 
I saw as large a percentage of a population equal to them. 

Listen to this list: Alexander Ramsey, H. M'. Rice, Ed- 
mund Rice, LI. H. Sibley, Rev. E. D. Neill, Judge R. R. Nelson, 
George L. Becker, D. A. Robertson, Earle S. Goodrich, James 
M. Goodhue, ^lajor William H. Forbes, Judge IMcses Sher- 
burne, John W. Xorth, Judge David Cooper, Gen. Isaac Van 
Etten, David Olmsted, Gen. William G. Le Due, William Hollins- 
head, Michael E. Ames, John B. Brisbin, W. S. Combs, George 
W. Armstrong, Judge D. A. J. Baker, Charles H. Oakes, Charles 
W. W. Borup, N. P. Langford, Major Nathaniel ^IcLean, Hor- 
ace R. Bigelow, Capt. Edwin Bell, A. L. Larpenteur, John P. 



Owens, Capt. Russell Blakeley, William L. x\mes. H. F. •Mas- 
terson, Col. John Farrington. Gov. William R. Marshall, Robert 

A. Smith, Capt. Peter Berkey, J. C. Burbank, Dr. David Day. 

B. W. Brunson, David Lambert, William H. Randall, Joseph R. 
Brown, Xathan ]\iyrick. Judge Lafayette Emmett, Lyman Day- 
ton, Judge A. G. Chatfield. Judge William H. W>lsh, S. P. 
Folsom, William P. Murray. ^Morton S. Wilkinson. Col. Johri 
S. Prince, Judge Charles E. Flandrau, Dr. Thoinas Foster, 
Pennock Pusey, Joseph A. Wheelock, and Willis A. Gorman. 

We have noted the' platting of the city of St. Paul, February 
28, 1849. Now followed several additions ,in quick succession. 

Whitney and Smith's addition was by Cornelius S. Whitney 
and Robert Smith, of Illinois. July 24, 1849: and the same was 
platted February 11. 1852, by Bushrod W. Lott, Joel E. Whitney, 
John F. Buttcrworth, Daniel A. J. Baker, Charles T. Whitney, 
and Martha, his wife, and Eliza L. Whitney. 

Rice and Irvine's addition was by Henry yi. Rice and John 
R. Irvine, July 2, 1849. They reserved all water rights. 

Leech's addition was by Samuel Leech, August 23, 1849. 

Bazille and Guerin's addition was by Charles Bazille and 
Vital Guerin, November 4, 1850. This was the only addition 
platted in 1850. 

They had platted quickly nearly all this basin from Goodrich 
street in the West Seventh street district clear down to Dayton'o 
bluff, and then seemed to stop, to hesitate, to reflect. Who 
should occupy this vast territory already platted? The situation 
was not inviting — most of it was boggy. The climate was severe. 
There was no way to come here except by boats, and this for only 
half the year. 

"What do we know," I imagine I hear them saying, '*of the 
extent of the tributary country, of its productive capacity, or what 
it will produce? How do we know but that, remote as we are. 
the Indians may rise and massacre our people? Are we not the 
victims of self-deception? Have we not suffered our fancies 
to make fools of us?*' 

They had dreamed they were platting w^hat would be a great 
metropolitan city, that all their thousands and thousands of lots 
would be needed for habitations and for the multifarious kinds of 




business, the sales of which would greatly enrich them. Now 
their confidence and their courage wavered, and their bright 
hopes began to die out, and they suspected they had committed 
an act of stupendous folly. 


While they were thus counselling together as to the future, I 
imagine I see the Genius of Geography, in vast and misty form, 
appearing before them, and, with uplifted finger, saying, ''Hes- 
itate not ! ^I'en, for want of comprehension of the force of geo- 
graphic facts, often build cities which flourish for a time and then 
decay. But there are points on all continents where cities are 
sure to rise and flourish and grow with the centuries. Of these 
St. Paul is one. Hesitate not ! Lay here deep and broad the 
foundations of a city which is destined to be one of the foremost 
on the continent. 

'The wonderful ^^lississippi valley, a vast region, equaled no- 
where in the world in extent and productiveness, lying in a zone 
that produces an infinite variety of grains, fruits, vegetables, 
cotton and sugar cane, stretches between the Eastern and West- 
ern mountain ranges, from tlie Lakes to the Gulf. Through this 
matchless, imperial garden of the world, flows the kingly Mis- 
I sissippi, with its princely tributaries. Here, at the head of nav- 
igation of this great arterial river, lay you the foundations of 
your city. Some day its channels shall be narrowed and deep- 
•ened, and it shall bear on its bosom a vast commerce. 

''Build in the midst of this beautiful scenery, where lakes 
and rivers and waterfalls begem the landscape! Build in thi.^ 
i healthy climate, where the tonic atmosphere inspires to great 
. enterprises and heroic achievements. And plan all things broar'- 
ly! For I see clearly a city which in the future shall far sur- 
pass your largest conceptions. 

'1 see ^reat railways from every direction gathering here, 
pouring wedth into your lap. I see science transforming all 
; your water powers into electric energy to transport people and 
freight, to drive all machinery, and to illuminate your buildings 
and streets. I see factories springing up that will darken your 
heavens in the day and illuminate the night. I see a commerce 


developing, so vast, so far-reaching, and yet expanding, as to 
awaken fear and jealousy in the ancient marts of trade on the 

"I see this valley . resounding with traffic, and the heights 
that environ you crowned with beautiful homes, palatial res- 
idences, and majestic public edifices that equal those of cities on 
which the moss of centuries rests. Fear not ! You have planned 
not broadly enough. 

"I see all this territory between where we stand and the 
Falls of St. Anthony dotted with literary, theological, and agri- 
cultural colleges, and covered with an intelligent, cultured, and 
moral population. 

"I would not tax your faith too much, but I look upon the 
boundless region to the west which I have made irrevocably 
and forever tributary to you, and see its future population and 
production; and I predict that within your borders more than 
a million people shall dwell ere the first half of the twentieth 
century shall have passed. 

"I see in the near future two heroic figures arise whose 
genius for affairs shall unlock for them the treasuries of the 
world, to enable them to build a network of railroads over the 
western part of the continent. Each has the hundred eyes of x\r- 
gus, and the hundred arms of Briareus. They see the golden* 
grain waving on the great, broad, boundless, billowy plains to 
your west, and out go their iron arms to gather it all up and 
lay it in your lap. 

"They glance at Montana, to be, and with their hundred 
wizard eyes, they see the buried treasures of silver and gold in 
her mountains ,and the multipUed thousands of sheep and cattle 
grazing on her plains ; and with their iron arms, these, too, 
are brought in to enrich you. 

"Nature has reared in vain the mighty ranges of mountains 
to protect against their rapacity the Pacific coast. Villard and 
Hill will burst through the Rocky mountains, spy out the salnioi> 
fisheries, the vast Red Tree forests, and all the wealth of fields 
and streams and forests and mines on that seemingly secure 
coast; and out will again go their hundred arms to bring all in 
to you, to still further enrich you. 

"Hill, with insatiable ambition, looks out over the western 


waters, and sees Australia, Ceylon, China and Japan, and India, 
with their hundreds of millions of inhabitants, whose rich com- 
merce has made possible all the great cities on the Mediterranean 
coasts in ancient and modern times, and he builds great ships, 
j such as never before vexed the bosom of the mild Pacific, to go 
! and gather up this rich trade of the opulent Orient and lay it 
; as a crowning gift in the lap of St. Paul, that this city may fulfil 

its destiny, and be the great interior city of the continent. 
. "Once again I charge you, lay deep and broad the founda- 
tions, for your children's children shall see here a city whose 
population, beauty, wealth, commerce, manufactures, schools and 
colleges, and noble charities, shall surpass your most sanguine 


! And then these pioneers, the Rices, Robert, Irvine, Dayton, 

I Guerin, Bazille, Marshall, Whitney, Tinker, Hoyt, Winslow, 

' Ramsey, Kittson, Brunson, and all, with renewed courage, sent 
out their surveyors to plat yet wider areas for the great city 
they had heard so confidently predicted. 

So in 1 85 1 there were platted, successively, Hoyt's addition, 
. by B. F. Ployt, January 9 ; Vanderburg's addition to Hoyt's addi- 
tion, April 7; Irvine's enlargement of Rice and Irvine's 

• addition, July 19; Paterson's addition, by Rev. A. B. Paterson, 
August 3; Willes' addition, by Charles L. Willes, September 12; 

. Joel Whitney's addition, by Joel Wliitney and D. A. J. Baker, 
September 29; and Winslow's addition, by James M. Winslow, 

, October 20. In all seven additions were made in 1851, as 

f against one in 1850. 

With unabated courage they proceeded to plat in 1852 as 
follows : Kittson's addition, by- C. W. W. Borup, May i ; Brun- 
son's addition, by B. W. Brunson, July 13 ; Bass' addition, by J. 
W. Bass, September 23 ; Hoyt's Outlots, by B. F. Hoyt, October 
20; and "Robert and Randall's addition, by John Randall and 
Louis Robert, December 7. Thus five additions were made in 

In 1853 number of additions platted was six; in 1854, 
eleven; in 1855, six; in 1856, twenty-nine; and in 1857, twenty- 




five. Stop and think of it! It is enough to take one's breath, 
their pace was so rapid! Fifty- four additions platted in two 
years ! 

The Genius of Geography had strongly impressed them! 
And they were in the main right. The great city was to be ; but 
the potency of time was necessary to the reaHzaticn of their 
gorgeous dreams. They had not considered that periods of de- 
pression and stagnation, even retrogression, would take place 
and so postpone the accomplishment of their schemes. 

Wc have seen the increased activity in platting. Now let us 
see how the number of sales in this same series of years com- 
pares with it. 

The records of Ramsey county show one sale of real estate 
in 1844; none in 1845: one in 1846; eleven in 1847, ^vhen only 
50 people were here; 35 in 1848; 175 in 1849, '^^'i^h 940 people 
here; 196 in 1850, with a population of 1,294 by the census; 786 
in 185 1 ; 939 in 1852; 1,165 in 1853; 1,872 in 1854; 2,560 in 1855. 
with a population of 4,716, there being thus more than half as 
many sales as there were people ; 2,798 sales in 1856, with 6,000 
people; and 790 sales in 1857, the population then being 9,937. 
With what leaps and bounds they advanced ! 

In 1849 "The City of St. Paul" and several large additions 
were platted, and the sales were 175. In 1856, seven years later, 
the number of sales was 2,798. What days these were for sur- 
veyors and real estate agents, over eight sales per day the year's 
average, being more than now, when w^e have thirty times the 
population ! 

Some of these additions are the farthest outlying plats we 
have today (Except the Midway plats), viz,; "Washington 
Heights," in Dakota ^ county ; ''Glen Toro," near lake Thoreau. 
or Sunfish lake, five miles south of us; "Iglehart, Hall and Mack- 
ubin's addition," near lake Phalen ( now ''Eastville Heights " 
and ''Oakville Park'*) ; and "St. Paul Park," on lake Josephuie. 
Evidently they thought that the predicted million inhabitant? 
would be here before the twentieth century commenced. 

Besides all this, they platted the town of "De Soto." half- 
w^ay 'between St. Paul and Stillwater; ''Glcncarrie," and other 
towns, in which never has a house been built, and which loni; 
ago were vacated and turned again into farms. 




It goes without saying that, with only thirteen sales up to 
j 1848, and thirty-five in 1848, there were no real estate agents 
j before 1849. Then they began to make their appearance, but 
I were mostly lawyers, taking real estate agency as a side issue. 
! It has generally been understood, and I believe it is so stated 
! in some of the histories of the city, that Charles R. Conway was 
I the first to hang out his shingle as a real estate agent in 1849, 
I but I am inclined to think that David Lambert was the first. 
[ I find in Volume i, No. i, of the Minnesota Pioneer, the first 

I issue of the first paper published in St. Paul, Lambert's card in 
French, as ''Avocat en droit, et Agent des terres" (Lawyer and 
j Land Agent). 

' A little later, June 14, 1849, Bushrod W. Lott's card ap- 

. peared in the same paper as Lawyer and Land Agent, and he 
[ acted as agent of Whitney and Smith for sale of lots in their 
addition. In the next month, July, B. F. Irvine advertised lots in 
Rice and Irvine's addition : and in the next month, August, W. 
D. Phillips' card appeared, as Lawyer and Land Agent. 

Soon afterward William P. Murray advertised as agent for 
the sale of Louis Robert's realty, and so he is entitled to the 
high honor of having once been a real estate agent. As he was 
here practicing law at that early day, it is probable that in the 
[ "Great Day of Reckoning" he will be held accountable for having 
examined and passed some of the defective titles heretofore re- 
ferred to. 

November 14, 1850, Judge R. R. Nelson's card appeared as 
! lawver and land aq-ent, and as having for sale lots in Leech's 
i addition. 

From all this list of real estate agents it is obvious that a 
market had opened in t849 ^nd 1850; but much of it must have 
been in lands in adjacent counties. 

Returning to the not very important but much discussed 
question as to who was the first agent, I will say that if any 
one can claim priority in that line over Lambert, it would be 
B. F. Hoyt, or ''Father Hoyt," as we all called him. Mr. Hoyt 
came here in 1848, and was soon actively engaged as a speculator 



and land and loan agent. He platted "Suburban Hills/' "Hoyt's 
Addition," and "Hoyt's Outlots." bought and sold thousands of 
acres near the city, and narrowly escaped becoming a millionaire. 
He once told me that he "had three times been saved from being 
a millionaire by the grace of God." He may have felt "really 
and truly" grateful for "this great salvation," but we are some- 
times unconsciously self-deceived. If Father Hoyt had become 
a millionaire, doubtless he would have thanked God for the 
millions and used them as generously as he always did that which 
he had. 


As soon as our pioneers had platted their respective addi- 
tions, a warfare broke out between the upper and the lower town, 
as bitter as ever was waged between St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

The first struggle was over the capitol site, Henry M. Rice 
and quite an array of strong men seeking to have it located 
somewhere near the "Seven Corners." Robert, Randall, Bazille, 
and others, sought to locate it in the lower town. They tried 
to persuade Charles Bazille to donate to the state the block on 
which the old capitol now stands ; but he thought it hardly fair 
that he should bear the whole burden, even though it did, as they 
said, enhance the value of his other property. So Vital Guerin, 
Major William H. Forbes, Louis Robert, and John Randall, all 
of whom had large interests to be affected, agreed, in considera- 
tion of his deeding said block to the state, that they would each 
deed to him certain lots, which was done. Bazille deeded the 
block to the State, not specifying that it was for a capitol, or any 
special purpose, or on any condition, but by a straight, clean, un- 
conditional deed. 

This struggle was hardly over before another arose over the 
steamboat landing. Originally it was at the lower landing, but J. 
C. Burbank built a good covered dock at the upper levee, and 
John R. Irvine built a large warehouse there. The Minnesota 
river boats, of which several for a number of years were regularly 
run by Capt. Edwin Bell, Louis Robert, and others, made their 
landings at the upper levee; and for some time it looked as 



though the upper levee was to be the principal steamboat landing. 
But after a while J. C. Burbank removed his dock to the lower 
levee, railroads were built through the Minnesota river valley, 
taking the trade from the river, which later ceased to be navig- 
able, and the lower levee became the steamboat landing of St. 
Paul. From all I can learn from the old settlers, it was always 
the principal landing. 

It will interest the old settlers and pioneers, at least, to 
recall the leaders in the contests alluded to. The major general 
of the upper town forces was Henr>' M. Rice, and by his side 
stood John R. Irvine, C. L. Emerson, John Farrington, George 
Culver, H. F. Masterson, William Hollinshead, George L. Beck- 
er, Levi Sloan, the Fuller brothers, and the Elfelt brothers. The 
down town leaders were William H. Randall, C. W. W. Borup, 
C. H. Oakes, N. W. Kittson, William H. Forbes, A. L. Lar- 
penteur, W. P. Murray, Louis Robert, Aaron Goodrich, Lot 
Moffet, W. C. ]^Iorrison, B. F. Ho\t, Lyman Dayton, J. W. Bass, 
and Charles Cave. There was thus an array of strong, active 
men on each side. Some of these were not here in time to take 
part in the first contests. 

Of the additions platted in the years 1849 ^0 1852, eleven 
were in the lower town and four in the upper town. I find, too, 
that the early sales were largely in the lower town. As the lower 
town had this start, and as presumably they would plat most 
where demand for lots was most expected, I take it that the lower 
town had the larger population and the most business during 
all those early years. 

I am confirmed in this opinion by an inspection of the Annals 
, of the Historical Society for 185 1, in the back part of which is 
' a business directory, which clearly shows that the major part 
" of the city's business was below Wabasha street. The city 
directory for 1856 shows the same, and it is a safe statement and 
prediction that below Wabasha street has always been, and al- 
ways will be, the business district of St. Paul, and that the prin- 
cipal residence district will always be in the west end. 
j All this, and the changes of business from Third street to 

Sixth, Seventh, and other streets, and the change of residence 
centers from Eighth street between Jackson and Sibley, from the 



corner of Sixth and Broadway, from lower Eighth and Ninth 
streets, from Woodward avenue and vicinity, and from Dayton's 
bluff, to a final resting- place, St. Anthony hill, are legitimate 
and easily deducible results of the topography of the city. The 
first man to foresee these changes and predict them was A. Vance 
Brown, whose warning to Horace Thompson not to build on 
Woodward avenue many of you will remember. 

At the Seven Corners, in 1857, w^hen I first came here, stood 
the Winslow House, and near the corner of Third and Exchange 
streets, the American, both well patronized. There was a certain 
tone of respectability and an intellectual atmosphere about these 
hotels that impressed one favorably ; and in that district were a 
number of banks, the theater, and quite a number of stores. At 
a casual glance, one was likely to think that that was the center of 
business in the city; and so for a time I thought, but a scrutiny 
of the facts showed that judgment to be wrong. 

More and more business has moved down town, and more 
and more population has moved up town. Much property within 
a few blocks of Seven Corners will not sell for as much as it 
would forty-five years ago; while property on Robert, Wabasha, 
Sixth, and Seventh streets, will sell for two hundred times as 
much as then. It will amuse you to know that the first dry goods 
store in St. Paul was on Eagle street, near the river ! 

As to residence property in the two districts (the upper and 
the lower town), the foregoing statement could be nearly re- 
versed. As certainly as the lower town will always be the prin- 
cipal business district, so certain is it that the upper town will 
always be the main residence district, owing to its topography, 
to the broad liberal spirit and taste of those who platted the 
principal additions, to its situation between the two cities, and to 
the centralization of educational institutions in the Alidway dis- 


The disputes with regard to titles and boundary linos in 
those pioneer days were quickly settled. A case in point was a 
dispute as to a boundary between William L. Ames, Sr., and 



Lyman Dayton. They were engaged in a heated controversy at 
the foot of Dayton's bluff, where are now, and were then, large 
springs, and a long, deep watering trough. Dayton grew hot 
in the dispute, and Ames, feeling that the matter should be coolly 
dicussed, picked Dayton up and laid him in the trough of cold 
spring water, after which the matter was easily adjusted. 

A dispute as to who first made his claim and erected his 
shanty on a tract down by "Pig's Eye lake" arose between 
Michael Le Claire, of IMendota and Pierre Parrant. To settle 
it they went before H. H. Sibley, justice of the peace at Men- 
dota, but he told them his jurisdiction only extended from the 
west side of the Mississippi to the Rocky mountains, and that 
Joe Brown was justice of the peace from Point Prescott to lake 
Superior, and that, as the land in question was east of the river, 
they must go to him. They did so. Brown heard the evidence, 
each swearing that he had made his claim first, as they may 
have honestly thought. Our modern Solomon, unable to decide 
from the evenly balanced testimony, went out, made a stake, which 
with an ax he laid at one corner of the claim, took Le Claire and 
Parrant in his wagon, drove away about twelve miles, and then 
told them to strip off their coats and race for the stake. The one 
who reached it first, and with the ax drove down the stake, should 
have the land. They did so, and Le Claire beat. Parrant ac- 
cepted the decision and moved off. 

Only recently the assignees of the heirs of Parrant related 
the case to an attorney, who told them no such method of ad- 
judicating a land title was known to our laws, and that he could 
set it aside. Suit was brought in the district court, which upheld 
Brown's decision, holding that their assent to the amicable method 
of settlment was evidenced by their making the race, and by 
Parrant having voluntarily abandoned the claim. But Par- 
rant's attorney, not satisfied with this, carried the case to the 
supreme court, which sustained the lower court, and the wisdom 
of Solomon No. 2 was vindicated. 

Here is an extract from a letter of date July, 1850, written 
by William G. Le Due to his wife. He was evidently thinking 
of mo\ang to St. Paul, and had been "house hunting." He wrote : 
"Rent for a little shanty, one-story, two rooms, N. E. corner 



Robert and Third, is $9.00 per month. Town lots selling for 
$200 and $300. Money commands 4 and 5 per cent per month. 
There are only about 1,000 permanent settlers now, but the pop- 
ulation increases rapidly and it is destined to became a great city. 
The other day at Mendota I heard a party of Sioux Indians, who 
in full dress toggery were sitting on the bank as our steamer 
approached, chant a song of welcome to us." 

SOME OF ST. Paul's loyal eulogists. 

Among the multitudinous real estate agents, there are a 
few whose memories will be long cherished, and who are thor- 
oughly identified with our city's history. Such was the ardent, 
irascible, erratic, broad-guaged, generous-hearted Henry Mc- 

Another was Col. Girard Hewitt, a tall, handsome, senatorial- 
looking gentlemen, an inimitable story-teller, the discoverer of 
the "Midway District." That is, he was more sagacious than the 
rest of us, first saw and industriously proclaimed its great future, 
and made large and profitable investments there. He persistently 
and ably wrote up the city and state, and did much in this way, 
and as state immigration commissioner, to attract capital and 
population to Minnesota and St. Paul. 

In ante-railroad days he and I wrote up, in home and east- 
ern papers, this state and the Dakotas, their soil, climate, scenery, 
etc., knowing that the sure basis of the city's growth was the 
settlement of the tributary country. When the railroads came m 
and got their land grants, they advertised these states in order to 
sell their lands, and we gave our attention wholly to the city's 

At one time a number of old settlers died in quick succession. 
Col. Hewitt cariie into my office soon afterward, looking very 
solemn, and asked if he could see me privately. I went aside 
with him, and with grave aspect and deep voice he said, ''Mr. 
Fairchild, have you noticed how many old settlers have dropped 
out recently?" I said I had, very many of them. "Do you 
ever stop to think that in the course of events you and I must go 
soon?" I said that before many years we would all be gone. 




Then, straightening himself up to his full six feet, with measured, 
deep, solemn voice, he said : "Mr. Fairchild, do you ever reflect 
that when you and I go up before the great white throne, to 
answer for all the deeds done in the body, we have an awful 
account to render for all the lies we have written about the 
climate of Minnesota?" And then, with a "Good day, sir," he 
strode out. 

One day I introduced him to a gentleman from the East 
on his first visit here. Hewitt greeted him with his accustomed 
cordial, yet dignified manner, and asked him how he liked our 
young city and state. He replied, "Very well indeed, so far as 
I have seen, but I suppose it is very cold in winter here?" Hew- 
itt, with an air of great dignity, said: "Cold! It is true, it is 
sometimes somewhat cool in winter, yet we have the best cli- 
mate in the world, sir. Spring comes with a freshness of 
verdure and purity of atmosphere that make existence a de- 
light. Our summers are glorious. Our autumns, with their 
soft, hazy, langorous atmosphere, and with all the scenery 
glorified by the gold and crimson glow of the trees and shrub- 
bery, are beyond expression beautiful. But our winters, sir, 
are the crowning glory of the year, sometimes somewhat cool, 
it's true, but never any wind, — occasionally a gentle pertur- 
bation of the atmosphere !" Then our laugh came in, and Hewitt 
and the stranger were at once on a good footing. 

Col. J. W. ]McClung, a chevalier-looking gentleman, a son of 
Judge McClung, of Kentucky, closely related to Chief Justice 
Marshall, a nephew of the gallant Col. Alex. McClung, of Mis- 
sissippi, who was a distinguished soldier and orator and famous 
duelist, was another devoted and thoroughly loyal friend of St. 
Paul and Minnesota, and freely used a graceful and forceful 
pen in championing their interests. ^McClung held and honor- 
orably filled many city and county offices, and was the author of 
a book on Minnesota," which was a good immigration docu- 

Col. J. H. Davidson wielded a good, strong pen, and was 
largely instrumental, as editor and real estate agent, in attract- 
ing population and capital to St. Paul, and for many years 
held one of the leading places in the real estate ranks. He 



was really a brilliant orator, not fully appreciated when here, but 
has since achieved a national reputation. 

Tracy ^1. iMetcalf wrote well in our behalf, but used his 
pen too sparingly. 

There is one other I must not omit to mention, for he de- 
serves well of St. Paul. I will have to impose a restraint on my- 
self when speaking of Thomas Cochran, for my admiration of his 
abilities and appreciation of his services to St. Paul are such 
that it will be hard to refrain from using superlatives. So I will 
only say that, among all the real estate agents of St. Paul 
from 1849 the present time, no other one has b\ public speech 
at home and throughout the East, by articles in our local papers 
and in many of the eastern states, by his championship of our 
interests in the Chamber of Commerce and in other public assem- 
blies, deserved so large a measure of St. Paul's gratitude. 

Our city is greatly indebted to the brilliant galaxy of editors 
who have made it famous for its journalism. Some of these 
never became specially interested in the city's growth and so are 
not mentioned here, but were strong, vigorous, graceful writers 
and made good newspapers. No doubt I omit some who are 
entitled to grateful mention. 

James M. Goodhue, the first editor of the first paper pub- 
lished here, the Minnesota Pioneer, was a brilliant writer, and 
never ceased for a day to write in favor of St. Paul and Minne- 
sota, to zealously advocate all measures in their interest, to herald 
what they had done, and predict the brilliant future he foresaw 
for them. He instilled his courage, confidence, and enthusiasm 
into all who read the Pioneer ; and no doubt every issue was in- 
strumental in adding to our population. 

H. P. Hall, in his Dispatch and in his Globe (he started 
both), ably and industriously championed our interests, con- 
stantly paraded the great things St. Paul had accomplished, and 
predicted her great future. He was always ready to contribute 
his full share of labor or money to make the prediction good. 

T. M. Newson, Louis Fisher, S. B. Woolworth, Ed. John- 
son, E. B. Northrup, J. Fletcher Williams, and J. H. Davidson, 
all with steadfast loyalty to and real love for the city of their 
choice, constantly proclaimed her commercial advantages and her 



growth : and zealously set forth the healthfulness of our climate, 
the beauty of our scenery, the vastness and productivity of our 
tributary country. This was done mostly in the local columns. 

It is no disparagement to others to say, however, that no man 
ever wrote in St. Paul's behalf so ably, so brilliantly, so continu- 
ously, and so voluminously, as Joseph A. Wheelock. His char- 
acteristically able and brilliant articles written in promotion of 
St. Paul's interests would alone make a huge volume. Add to this 
his zealous advocacy of all measures or enterprises beneficial to 
the city, and his unflinching opposition to all mistaken or corrupt 
schemes prejudicial to the city; consider also our peerless park 
system, which is and is to be ours mainly through his instrumen- 
tality ; and you will agree with me, that to no man is St. Paul a 
larger debtor. 


There are two real estate firms (one of them now more in- 
terested in the construction and operation of railroads than in real 
estate) w^hich have largely contributed to the growth and pros- 
perity of the citv in another direction. 

Oppenheini & Kahlman have done more than any other in- 
dividual or firm to induce large investments of eastern capital, 
and thereby to secure the building of many large, splendid busi- 
ness blocks, which today give character to the city. 

The other firm mentioned are Smith & Taylor, who have for 
several years built great numbers of comfortable, tasteful dwell- 
ings. They are still astonishing all who go out on the Selby cars 
with tlie scores of new houses in course of construction. I hope 
they will continue the good wx)rk, and that many will follow their 

It would be interesting, if I had time, to go more fully into 
the changes of business and residence centers, and to philosophize 
upon their causes, for such changes do not accidentally occur ; 
to note the early development of Dayton's Bluff, and its abated 
growth; the sudden upbuilding of the "jMerriam Hill district,'* 
and causes of its arrested growth ; the development and con- 
stantly accelerated growth of the *'St. Anthony Hill dis- 




trict/' and its causes ; the development of the "Midway district," 
with its beautiful homes, its handsome boulevards, its numerous 
educational institutions, and its rapidly increasing industries 
around "the Transfer the sudden transformation of "West St. 
Paul" (now the Sixth ward) from a village of a few hundred in- 
habitants to a populous district of 15,000 to 20,000, with many 
beautiful homes and a large and rapidly increasing business. 

I have been able only to glance at the marvelous growth of 
the city. From 1847 ^^57 there was an average growth of 
more than 200 per cent, per year. From i860 onward we boast 
of an increase of 100 per cent, in ten years, and were crazed by 
an increase of 200 per cent, from 1880 to 1890. 

An interesting story of the wild speculations of those early 
days could be told, a ston,^ of fabulous profits in a few months, 
millions made and millions lost in a few years. For it will not 
do to say it was not profit, that it was all fictitious value. When 
population mounts from less than 100 to 10,000 in eight years, 
with all the resulting improvements, there must be enormous in- 
crease of values. And so there was, but men were made deliri- 
ous ; they failed to see the limitations necessarily attached to such 
conditions ; they bought and built, and made notes and mortgages, 
as if this rapid growth and advance in values would continue 

They waked from their dream in 1857, and a sad, sad story 
is that of the next few years. We reached in that panic year the 
mouth of the cave of gloom and despair; let us not enter it, as 
we v.-ould not have time to go through the dark years and come 
out into the sunlight of more prosperous years. 

'T is a world of pity that nearly every one of those bold, ad- 
venturous pioneers, who laid the foundation of our cit>- so well, 
and who had millions in their easy grasp, died poor. We who 
knew them may stop and sigh our regrets at their misfortunes, 
and drop a tear to their memories ; but the world moves on with 
constantly accelerating speed. 

The yesterdays are far back of the todays, and the todays are 
doubtless but a faint prophecy of the tomorrows. The sciences 
of the few have become the common knowledge of the many. 
The secrets of the laboratories as to the forces of nature are now 



the applied agencies of transportation and commerce and manu- 
factures, and are made the common conveniences of the liouse- 
hold and of the business world. 

Irrigation and the appHcation of chemistry and electricity to 
agriculture shall increase many fold the food products of the 
country, enabling it to support a far larger population than now. 
One-third of that population, according to the indications of the 
census reports, will dwell in cities, enlarging them to proportions 
not yet dreamed of; and the young men listening to me tonight 
will live to see the Twin Cities closely grown together, with a 
population larger than the most hopeful have yet thought it pru- 
dent to predict. 

The growth in population, commerce, and wealth, will surely 
come. Let it be your duty and your pride to make our city beau